Apply Now: ATP Cycle 5 Technical Assistance with the Safe Routes Partnership

Note: Because some Metropolitan Planning Organizations have not yet released their recommendations for the ATP Cycle 4 MPO component, we have extended the deadline to apply for our Cycle 5 assistance in order to accomodate jurisdictions that are still waiting to find out if their projects will be funded.

If you are working to make streets safer or to increase access to schools and parks so that children and families in your community can have more opportunities for physical activity – we can help!

The Safe Routes Partnership can assist your efforts to make your community a place where kids can easily be active and healthy. We are offering long-term, free technical assistance to under-resourced communities in California that would like to seek funding through the state’s Active Transportation Program (ATP) for projects that support walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School.

Specifically, we can help four communities or agencies develop a competitive application in ATP Cycle 5, for which the Call for Projects is scheduled in the first half of 2020.  We are eager to work with you in the development of an ATP application for a plan (for pedestrians, bikes, safe routes to school or active transportation generally); infrastructure; non-infrastructure; or combined infrastructure/non-infrastructure application. Our staff has served as evaluators for the program in all previous cycles, and currently participates in the Active Transportation Program Technical Advisory Committee; our expertise in the program and in what makes a competitive application is substantial. 

If your community is selected, you will receive technical assistance over several months valued at more than $20,000 to help you submit the strongest possible application, including:

  • Regular one-on-one consultation with your project lead.
  • Guidance in identifying the most appropriate project for your community.
  • Assistance using online tools and databases to demonstrate Disadvantaged Community status, crash history and other indicators of need.
  • Collaboration in developing and executing a public participation process that engages traditionally unengaged populations and secures the support of the maximum number of stakeholders in your community.
  • Assistance submitting the Cycle 5 application, including proofreading and editing.

Eligibility is limited to agencies and organizations who are eligible to apply to the State of California’s Active Transportation Program, but who have not previously received ATP funding (applicants that have received funding for a plan may apply for technical assistance on a subsequent infrastructure application). At the current time, eligible applicants include local government agencies, school districts and other government entities. Nonprofits and community-based organizations are only eligible to apply for non-infrastructure projects, or to partner with an eligible government agency for a plan or infrastructure project. 

We are happy to work either with applicants who already know what project they want to apply for or with applicants who need help figuring that out. However, applicants must also be willing and able to commit staff time and availability to the project during the technical assistance period, which will last approximately six months; you should expect to dedicate an average of 5 hours a week on the project during those six months (the amount may vary significantly from week to week). The Safe Routes Partnership will help you navigate each step of the process: working though scoping the project; determining metrics for disadvantage status public health and safety; devising and conducting extensive public outreach; and partnering with local stakeholders to build support and interest in your proposed project. Based on that work, you will write the actual application, with our help and review. If you are planning to apply for an infrastructure project, you should plan to hire an engineering or consulting firm to produce renderings and cost estimates. We encourage you to read our recently published guide to the ATP for a better idea of what the application process involves and what you can expect from our Technical Assistance program. 

To apply, simply describe your community need in detail on the application form available here.  Our staff will review and score the applications and select five communities for this opportunity. We will reach out to qualifying applicants for a phone discussion during our decision-making process. 

Applications are due April 5, 2019, by 5pm PT. Please complete all questions on the Google Form (the questions are copied and pasted below so you can see them all on one page. A PDF is available here) If you have any questions during the application process, please contact Jonathan Matz, California Senior Policy Manager:

The Safe Routes Partnership improves the quality of life for all kids, families and communities by advancing policies that support physical activity, healthy community design, active transportation initiatives, and infrastructure improvements, especially in underserved communities.  With a diverse staff spread across the country, we share our expertise and knowledge to inspire and encourage action in local communities. In California, we have three policy staff that work at the regional and state level to advance policies that improve active transportation and increase funding for walking and bicycling. We have been actively involved in the development of the Active Transportation Program and other regional and state funding program and policies that advance Safe Routes to School for many years and are excited to offer this technical assistance opportunity with generous support from The California Endowment 


Below are the questions you will be prompted to answer on the Google Form

Applications will be evaluated with the following criteria in mind:

  1. A demonstrated need for technical assistance
  2. The community qualifies as disadvantaged according to the 2018 ATP Guidelines
  3. There is a commitment to ensuring staff availability and capacity to coordinate with us on this technical assistance
  4. The likelihood that our technical assistance can help secure funding for the project or program
  5. There are no significant barriers to providing this technical assistance and implementing your project or program

Section A: Organization and Contact Information

Section B: Screening Questions - Category and Technical Assistance Needs

1.     Please select which ATP application category you expect to apply for (check all that apply).  Note that Safe Routes to School projects will receive extra priority for assistance.

My agency is not yet sure which application type it wants to pursue.

Plan: Creating an Active Transportation, Pedestrian, Bicycle or Safe Routes to School plan which identifies projects and programs for future funding application.

Non-infrastructure program: education and encouragement programs in schools or other key community institutions.

Small infrastructure: physical improvements to improve bicycle and/or pedestrian safety costing no more than $1.5 million

Medium infrastructure: physical improvements to improve bicycle and/or pedestrian safety costing between $1.5 million and $7 million

Large infrastructure: physical improvements to improve bicycle and/or pedestrian safety costing more than $7 million

Combination infrastructure/non-infrastructure project (physical improvements paired with an educational/encouragement program – this typically involves a collaboration between a planning/implementing agency and a body such as a school district)

2.     Have you applied to the ATP in the past? (If your community has been awarded an ATP infrastructure grant in previous cycles, you are not eligible for this technical Assistance opportunity. Communities that have been awarded ATP funds to create a plan may use our technical assistance for a pursuant infrastructure project. 

Yes, but the project was not funded.  

Yes, we applied to create a Plan and it was funded.  

No, we have never applied for the ATP

3.     For the community where this project is/would likely be located, which ATP criteria for disadvantaged communities apply? (please refer to the Cycle 4 ATP Guidelines for definitions)

Median household income less than 80% of statewide median household income ($61,489)

Free and reduced price lunch: At least 75% of students in project area are eligible

CalEnviroScreen score greater than or equal to 36.62, or in the top 25% of all scores

Other (regional definition adopted in an RTP, i.e. MTC’s Communities of Concern; or there is a lack of accurate Census data or CalEnviroScreen data for a small neighborhood or unincorporated area). Please explain your response.

Section C: Project Questions

Please answer the following questions, providing as much detail as possible. There is a 500 word limit for each question.

  1. Please describe your community.  Is it rural, suburban, or urban?  What is the racial and income breakdown in your community and/or school this project would serve?  Are there particular health disparities or challenges that you are trying to impact through this project?
  2. What is the problem you are trying to solve, and what project or program do you envision will help with that problem?  What communications and dialogues have you had with your community about the project, and what reactions have been expressed so far? What would you like to achieve at the end of our technical assistance period?
  3. Tell us why you think our technical assistance will help you move forward with this project or program.  If you are selected for assistance, are there any already-planned events or decision points we will need to work around?
  4. Has your organization or community undertaken any previous efforts to establish Safe Routes to School programs or improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure?  If yes, tell us about the effort and how was it received in the community.  If no, please tell us why you think your community is now ready to take on an effort like this.
  5. What is your preferred start date for this technical assistance? We plan to work with four new communities, split into two cohorts (one starting in July 2019 and one in October 2019. The process should take approximately six months; if your community is in the first cohort, we will regroup when Cycle 5 applications are released in order to update your draft application.   
    • July 2019
    • October 2019 
  6. Have you applied for an ATP grant before? Why or why not? If you have applied, what kind of feedback did you receive on the application? If not, what have been the barriers?
  7. Who will be the lead person and agency on this project? Tell us about the agency and individual’s expertise and history working on active transportation and Safe Routes to School. As mentioned above, we estimate that it will involve an average of 5 hours per week for six months. Can you commit to this? 
  8. Do you have a coalition or team that is currently working on your project, program, or issue?  Who participates?  Does this include members of the affected community?
  9. Please list the organizations and key policy makers in support of the project or program.  Are they able to provide any staff, data (survey, audits, assessments), monetary or other resources to assist with the project or program goals?
  10. Please provide any additional information you feel would be helpful for our team to gain an understanding of your proposal.

California Regional Network




Safe Routes to School in California