Just last year Congress passed a new transportation bill, MAP-21, that dismantled dedicated funding for biking and walking by combining Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails into one and cutting the funding by 30 percent. The saving grace was that the bill included a local control provision to ensure that mayors and communities could access to these dollars to support local transportation priorities.
Now Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky wants to wipe out what’s left.
Senator Paul has introduced an amendment to the Transportation Appropriations bill to prohibit any money from being used for Transportation Alternatives. Paul’s amendment would redirect that money towards bridge repair.
While we agree that repairing our bridges are important, both for safety and economic development reasons, so are our local economies. Dedicating the small amount of Transportation Alternatives funding to bridge repair couldn’t fix our country’s bridges in 50 years. And, taking that small amount of funding away would dangerously undermine efforts in our cities, towns and counties to provide safe and efficient transportation options for everyone. With rates of bicycling and walking fatalities on the rise, that is a trade we can’t afford to make.
Maryland and Virginia residents, please contact your senators and ask them to save Transportation Alternatives—and the local control provisions that help build bikeable, walkable places—by voting NO on Amendment 1742.
The Senate hopes to finish this bill today or tomorrow. Act soon!
Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for mobilizing this campaign to save local bike and pedestrian funding.