SACRAMENTO – California will prioritize sustainable transportation projects in funding decisions as part of a new climate action strategy adopted today by the California State Transportation Agency.
In adopting the Climate Action Plan for Transportation Infrastructure (CAPTI), the state commits to investing billions of discretionary transportation dollars annually to aggressively combat and adapt to climate change while supporting public health, safety and equity. The plan builds on executive orders signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 and 2020 targeted at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation – which account for more than 40 percent of all emissions – to reach the state’s ambitious climate goals.
“The climate crisis is upon us, and transportation must be part of the solution immediately to stave off its worst effects,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary David S. Kim. “California has long been a leader in the fight to reduce harmful emissions, and we are leading again with a new funding framework for transportation that fully embraces our state’s values. From increased investments to support zero-emission transit, freight and rail as well as projects that vastly expand safe access to walking, biking and transit, we will develop a transportation system that is safer, more sustainable, more equitable and benefits all Californians – particularly those who have historically been left behind.”
State transportation funds – including revenue collected under Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 – must be used solely on transportation. As outlined in SB 1, California will continue the “fix-it-first” approach to maintaining the state’s highways, roads and bridges. Under the new strategy adopted today, where feasible and within existing funding program structures, the state will invest discretionary transportation funds in sustainable infrastructure projects that align with its climate, health and social equity goals.
To steer those investments, the plan has 10 guiding principles:
- Building toward an integrated, statewide rail and transit network
- Investing in networks of safe and accessible bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure
- Advancing investments in light-, medium- and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle infrastructure
- Strengthening the commitment to social and racial equity by reducing public health and economic harms and maximizing community benefits
- Making safety improvements to reduce fatalities and severe injuries of all users toward zero
- Assessing physical climate risk for transportation infrastructure projects
- Promoting projects that do not substantially increase passenger vehicle travel
- Promoting compact infill development while protecting residents and businesses from displacement
- Developing a zero-emission freight transportation system
- Protecting natural and working lands.
CAPTI was developed through collaboration with many different state agencies along with extensive outreach and engagement with hundreds of stakeholders during the past 18 months. The California State Transportation Agency unveiled the draft plan on March 10 and updated the document based on feedback received during the ensuing 10-week public review period. A summary of the comments received and how they were addressed in the final plan is available here.
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