waba@waba.org
Phone: 202.518.0524
Fax: 202.518.0936

Washington Area
Bicyclist Association
2599 Ontario Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20009

National Advocacy

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)

MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years (FY) 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005. (Federal Highway Adminstration). MAP-21 is a step backwards for biking as available dedicating funding available for biking was cut by 60 to 70 percent. America Bikes summerizes the bill for biking:

  • Cuts available biking and walking funds by 60 to 70 percent. Biking and walking programs are combined into a single program, Transportation Alternatives, with drastically reduced funding.
  • Eliminates dedicated Safe Routes to School funding. The bill eliminates dedicated funding for the massively popular and cost-effective Safe Routes to School program, which helps make walking and biking to school safer for millions of American schoolchildren.
  • Weakens local control. The new transportation bill allows states to opt-out of half of the funds potentially available for small-scale biking and walking projects. Whereas the bi-partisan Senate bill allowed local governments and planning entities to compete for 1% of transportation funds, the new bill allows states to opt-out of the local grant program completely.
  • Makes biking and walking compete with new, expensive eligibilities. Eligibilities such as road uses and environmental mitigation have been added to Transportation Alternatives, making it harder for local communities to compete for funding for local biking and walking projects.

Source: America Bikes

Background

National bike advocacy groups like America Bikes, the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Biking and Walking and Rails to Trails Conservancy are hard at work to ensure that the next transportation bill greatly improves federal policy and funding for bikes.  To achieve better cycling in the US, the bill must:

  • Include a Federal Complete Streets Policy
    Ensure that ALL transportation projects built with federal dollars would be required to safely accommodate bicyclists, pedestrians, the elderly, and other road users. 

  • Build Active Transportation Systems
    Focus significantly increased investment on completing seamless networks of sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails, especially in cities, towns, and suburban areas. 

  • Provide Fair Share for Safety
    Require highway safety funds to be spent in proportion to fatalities. Currently, bicyclists and pedestrians account nationally for 13 percent of the fatalities on our roadways, but receive less than one percent of safety funding.

  • Promote Bicycling and Walking
    Elevate the role of bicycling and walking within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Ensure accountability in transportation funding by including tools and research to measure progress in increasing the share of trips taken by bicycling and walking.

For more details on the national bike advocacy platform please click here.

How have federal transportation bills made an impact where you live?

Past transportation bills have been good for cyclists in the DC area. The Safe Routes to Schools program, which was created in the last transportation bill in 2005, allows WABA to provide safe biking and walking education to children, and helps to build sidewalks and safer roadway crossings near schools. Transportation Enhancements, a program created under the 1991 transportation bill, has directed millions of dollars towards trails and other bike projects around the region.

The National Battle will be won at the local level

As national advocacy organizations pound the halls of Congress with the active transportation message, local organizations like WABA are working hard to make their jobs easier. By educating the general public on the benefits of bicycling, and by showing local elected officials the benefits that past investments in biking and walking have brought to their constituents, we help ensure that our elected representatives understand the importance of bicycling and walking to those they represent.  Help us fight for you by joining or donating today!

 


Bike Pages - National


Advocacy

League of American Bicyclists  

Alliance for Biking & Walking    

Rails to Trails 

National Center of Bicycling and Walking 

Bikes Belong 

Walkable Communities


Government

Federal Highway Administration
John C. Fegan
Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager
Federal Highway Administration
HEPN-50 Rm 3240
400 Seventh St SW
Washington DC 20590
Phone: 202.366.5007
Fax: 202.366.3409