There have been a lot of action alerts regarding the latest federal transportation authorization bill floated in the House by Rep. Mica. Our friends and fellow advocates are rightfully alarmed by attacks on dedicated bicycle and pedestrian funding.
We hope you will consider taking action by participating in one of the following efforts:
In the meantime, we went ahead and sent another letter on transportation funding to Senator Lautenberg, just to be clear on how we feel about this issue!
On June 30, the Federal Highway Administration informed state Departments of Transportation of another rescission of funds, this time totaling $2.5 million. NJDOT is being directed to remit $69 million and must respond with their decision about which programs to cut to meet the rescission by July 8. That is extremely short notice.
We know well from past experience that a disproportionately large amount of Transportation Enhancement and Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funding is returned to the FHA each time a rescission is mandated. This is where most bicycling and pedestrians projects reside and they usually bear the brunt of the “claw-backs” of funds by the federal government. The League of American Bicyclists has prepared some Rescission FAQs for additional information.
What can YOU do? Contact Governor Christie’s office and strongly urge him to work with NJDOT to ensure balanced cuts, not a gutting of bicycle/pedestrian projects to protect other projects. Remember to stress that construction of bike paths offers more job creation per infrastructure dollar than investment in roads. (For more details, see this recent study by my University of Massachusetts colleague Heidi Garrett-Peltier, who analyzed 58 projects in 11 cities, using an input-output model to measure employment impact).
We need your help: the future of funding for Safe Routes to School, trails, walking and bicycling in America is in serious jeopardy.
Some Senators and Representatives are pushing to eliminate key bicycle and pedestrian programs, even though they are funded at less than two cents of every transportation dollar and have tremendous impacts on their communities. New Jersey’s Senator Lautenberg sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and has made clear he supports trails, walking and bicycling.
Please help by adding your name, as a New Jersey constituent, to a letter being sent by the Safe Routes to School Partnership to Senator Lautenberg. Go here to sign the letter and go here to read the letter sent by the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.
Thanks for your help!
The House Appropriations Committee announced allocations and schedules for Fiscal Year 2012 spending bills this week, reducing the amount available to the House Transportation, Housing & Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to $47.7 billion — a drop of 30% compared to FY 2010 and 14% compared to the current fiscal year. If enacted by Congress and signed by the president, the allocation by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, would reduce transportation and housing spending more than $1 billion below FY 2008 levels.
Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBR): USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBR 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska — the first official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be established since 1982.
AASHTO and Adventure Cycling welcomed approval of these new routes as a momentous step toward creating an official U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), which will become the largest official national cycling network on the planet.
“We are pleased that the collaboration with Adventure Cycling has resulted in the approval of these new bicycle routes and we look forward to continuing the implementation of the national corridor plan that was endorsed by AASHTO’s membership in partnership with the bicycling community,” said John Horsley, AASHTO’s Executive Director.
New Jersey, where are you in all of this???
H.R. 1780, the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011, has been introduced in the US House of Representatives, co-sponsored by Representative Doris Matsui (D-HI) and Representative Steve LaTourette (R-OH). It would require state transportation officials to consider the needs of all transportation users – pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and people with disabilities, as well as motorists – in every phase of planning and development.
This is national recognition of a policy that is already being implemented in 23 states and more than 200 local governments around the country, and is welcomed and supported by NJBWC.