Yesterday, the House of Representatives released their proposed Transportation budget bill and it sucks. Smart Growth America reports:
Today the House released its draft transportation bill to the public. Our colleagues at Transportation for America are still evaluating the overall bill, but we have a chance in the next 24 hours to help fix America’s bridges and restore the dedicated funding that makes our roads safer for people on foot or bike, which has been eliminated.
We need your help: tell your Representative to support two amendments that would restore funding for safe biking and walking, and make repairing our deficient bridges a priority.
The House committee that wrote the bill will vote on it Thursday morning, and they will decide in less than 48 hours what to change before approving it and moving it to the full House for a vote.
From the League of American Bicyclists:
The proposed bill eliminates dedicated funding for bicycling and walking as we feared, and it goes much further and systematically removes bicycling from the Federal transportation program. It basically eliminates our status and standing in the planning and design of our transportation system – a massive step backwards for individuals, communities and our nation. It’s a step back to a 1950s highway – and auto-only program that makes no sense in the 21st century.
The bill reverses 20 years of progress by:
- destroying Transportation Enhancements by making it optional;
- repealing the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school;
- allowing states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles;
- eliminating bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs; and
- eliminating language that insures that rumble strips “do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled.”
The Bill is available to read here. Neither of Rhode Island’s Congressmen are on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee which will be voting to move this Bill to the full House. Langevin and Cicilline should urge their colleagues who are on the Committee to vote against it and be prepared to vote against it if it makes it to the full House.
You can contact your Congressperson on this issue by visiting Transportation for America.