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Thursday, January 26, 2012

House Bill Threatens to Eliminate Bicycle and Pedestrian Funding [LAB]


For the past 20 years, the federal Transportation program has included dedicated funding for biking and walking. Over the course of twenty years and three federal transportation laws, federal support for bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure projects has slowly ticked upwards. As a result, more and more communities feature safe roads for people who travel on foot or by bicycle and more people are bicycling — there has been a 40% increase in bicycling from 2000 to 2009 and a surge in Bicycle Friendly Communities.
In 1992, Congress passed ISTEA, the first federal transportation bill to include funding for transit, biking, and walking. As each consecutive transportation bill passed and continued dedicated funding for biking and walking, funding increased from $23 million for 50 new projects in 1992 to $297 million dollars and 971 projects in 2000, to a record $1.2 billion dollars and 3010 projects in 2009.
However, recently there has been a drop in funding and projects — since 2009 — as a result of the decline in stimulus spending that was available for a limited period and uncertainty over the future of the programs. A similar phenomenon occurred between 1997 and 2005. Now, however, a new transportation bill threatens to eliminate federal support for biking and walking infrastructure all together.
Next Thursday, the House Transportation Committee will vote (see timeline) on the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, a bill that eliminates crucial funds for biking and walking. Representatives on the Transportation Committee are key positions to save dedicated funding for biking and walking.

1 comments:

Velomobile News said...

That is not good. We were just beginning to see an upswing in the number of people using bicycles as commuting transportation.

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