Posts Tagged ‘Federal Transportation Bill’
Late on Friday, November 4, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) published its proposal for the next federal transportation bill, called MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century). The 600-page bill will be marked-up in committee on Wednesday, November 9. The proposed legislation makes significant changes to the core, dedicated funding programs for bicycling and walking activities.
- The current dedicated funding programs for bicycling and walking (Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreational Trails program) are combined into one program, with significantly less funding.
- An expanded list of eligible activities are added to this smaller funding pot, including such big-ticket items as NEPA compliance and land acquisition for wetland mitigation.
- The proposed bill effectively allows states to completely opt out of the program and would allow all this money to be redirected to highway construction.
Originally, the bill also lumped highway and street construction projects, including high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, as part of the expanded eligible activities. On Tuesday, Senator Boxer received bipartisan support for an amendment that will remove all but one of the road uses (NEPA & wetlands). While this is a positive step, there is still a lot of work to do. The America Bikes Coalition hopes to continue to make changes by working with Boxer and EPW staff to restore dedicated funding in the bill.