Next Wednesday, February 8, 2017, VTA’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will discuss draft guidelines for the 2016 Measure B Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. To view the full staff-recommended draft guidelines, download the February VTA BPAC agenda. Some noteworthy elements for advocates of biking and walking to weigh in on:
- Grant funding would be made available every two years.
- The minimum grant amount would be $50,000 and the maximum would be 50% of the total available from the program in that round of funding.
- Project sponsors (applicants) would need to provide a 10% funding match.
- Planning studies could be funded out of this grant program, but only for projects that were called out in Attachment A of the ballot measure.
- This one’s complicated: Staff is recommending using Measure B as a way to shuffle safety education funding around. The recommendation would have cities and the county apply for Safe Routes to School program funding out of Measure B, while changing the current SRTS grant program, known as VERBS, so that it funds construction projects (at or near schools) only. The existing VERBS funding comes with lots of strings, which can make it difficult for education providers to report the success of their programs and purchase certain supplies.
Some questions SVBC will be asking on Wednesday night:
- Will this grant program last the entire length of the 30-year tax?
- Will the availability of bike/ped specific funds preclude the use of other Measure B categories on dedicated bike/ped facilities? We’re thinking about the Highway Interchange and County Expressways funds here. (See the ongoing saga of the Holly Street/101 crossing in San Carlos for the reason behind our apprehension.)
- Why must planning projects be limited to those listed in Attachment A of the ballot measure? Are construction projects similarly limited? This was not clear in the ballot language. When the ballot language was being written, advocates were clear that candidate projects should not be set in stone for a 30-year tax measure, as project priorities can change drastically over time. As we understood things, the Attachment was merely a list of examples but would not be binding.
Join the fun and help shape funding for biking and walking infrastructure for the next several decades!
VTA Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
February 8, 2017
VTA Conference Room B-106,
3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA
VTA welcomes comments from members of the public. People wishing to comment may contact the Board Secretary’s office in advance of the meeting at (408) 321-5680 or email@example.com, or attend the BPAC meeting and comment in person. Public comments at the meeting are typically limited to 2 minutes per person per item.
Learn more about the roll-out of VTA’s 2016 Measure B ½ cent sales tax on VTA’s blog.