ACTION ALERT - Regional Bicycle funds at risk

This Action Alert is regarding the proposed 20% reduction of funds allocated to complete the Regional Bicycle Network as discussed in rideOn, February 2010 (p.2). The so-called "flexible" use of block grant funds would strip millions of dollars from the $19.5 million allocated to much-needed bikeway projects and instead use the money for the Local Streets and Roads program. We urge that the original MTC allocations be retained.

Alameda County Great news! On Monday, February 2, 2010, the Alameda County CMA voted to retain the original MTC allocation of funds to the three categories. We can thank TransForm, Urban Habitat, and the American Lung Association for joining a coalition of unified voices who prevailed to keep the funding intact.

UPDATE Alameda County: Despite the vote on Feb 2nd by the CMA's Plans & Programs Committee, EBBC was suprised to learn that the staff recommendation to the full CMA board on Feb 25 retained the flexed funding proposal. Quick action brought allies from TransForm and Urban Habitat to speak out at the meeting. Several elected officials from Emeryville, Berkeley and Fremont joined in openly challenging the staff threat to divert 20% of Regional Bicycle Network and Transportation for Livable Communities funds to Local Streets & Roads projects. We succeeded in keeping the funds intended to complete the Regional Bicycle Network in Alameda County from being flexed.

UPDATE Contra Costa County We ask for your organization to sign onto the attached letter or, if necessary, join us at 6pm on March 17 at the Contra Costa Transportation Commission (CCTA) meeting at Hookston Square, 3478 Buskirk Ave., Suite 100, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Please urge that your group sign onto the TransForm letter at the bottom of the page.

Both TransForm and EBBC spoke on Feb 17 at the CCTA Meeting where the following Agenda Item was for information only:

2.B.4 Issues and Options for Addressing MTC's CMA Block Grant. MTC has begun the process for allocating funds that are expected to become available through the new federal transportation reauthorization act. One component is the allocation of expected STP and CMAQ funds through a new CMA Block Grant. The "block grant" would address the Local Street and Road Shortfall Program, the county portion of MTC's Transportation for Livable Communities program, and the Regional Bicycle Program. CMAs must submit their proposed approach for the block grant to MTC by April 1, 2010. A subsequent list of recommended projects is due by July 30, 2010.

File attachment: MTC_Block_Grant_letter_to_CCTA_02_16_10.pdf