Bike Walk Connecticut joined with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and six other advocacy groups in the following letter to Governor Malloy on preserving funding for bike/ped infrastructure projects in Connecticut.
September 25, 2012
The Honorable Dannel P. Malloy
Governor of Connecticut
210 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
RE: Federal Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Funding
Dear Governor Malloy:
With the passage of the new federal transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), Connecticut and its metropolitan planning organizations will now decide how to use the funds allocated to the newly created “Transportation Alternatives” (TA) program. This new program consists of money previously dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian projects via the Transportation Enhancements, Recreational Trails, and Safe Routes to Schools programs, and has, unfortunately, been cut by roughly 33 percent under MAP-21. In addition, states now also have the option of diverting half of these funds to non-bike and pedestrian projects, and opting out completely from the Recreational Trails program.
Between 2008 and 2010, 135 pedestrians and cyclists were killed on Connecticut roads. In order for Connecticut to achieve its goals of smart growth, improved safety, the economic revitalization of downtowns and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, it is critical that the state maintain, if not increase, its current levels of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
Connecticut has made great strides in recent years to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. The General Assembly passed a Complete Streets law in 2009 that is ranked as one of the best in the country and ConnDOT Commissioner James Redeker reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to accommodating all users of the road at an April 2012 forum in Bridgeport. It is our understanding that the state has again affirmed its support for non-motorized transportation by deciding not to opt out of the Recreational Trails program for the 2013 federal fiscal year.
We thank you for this commitment to complete streets and non-motorized transportation, and urge you to build upon it. To this end, we urge the state to:
1. Direct 100% of the state’s Transportation Alternatives funding to improving the safety of our roads for all users and to building community infrastructure and trails that encourage walking and bicycling. It is crucial that the state continue its commitment to complete streets, smart growth and active transportation.
2. Promptly award Transportation Alternatives grants via both metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and state-administered processes. Under MAP-21, half of a state’s Transportation Alternatives funding is sub-allocated directly to MPOs serving more than 200,000 residents, and these MPOs administer the funds.
3. Fully maximize Connecticut’s investments in safe, accessible streets by utilizing all MAP-21 funding programs to fund multi-modal projects and incorporating complete streets principles into the design and implementation of all transportation projects. Bicycling and walking projects can be funded via several federal transportation programs, including the Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), and the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).
4. Fully spend remaining funds from the Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails programs.
For the good of the economy and the health, safety, and quality of life of all Connecticut residents, we urge Connecticut to maintain current levels of funding for bike and pedestrian projects and continue investing in complete streets, smart growth, and active transportation programs. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director, Bike Walk Connecticut
Roger Reynolds, Senior Attorney, Connecticut Fund for the Environment
Lori Brown, Executive Director, CT League of Conservation Voters Education Fund
Mark Abraham, Board Member, Elm City Cycling
William Dornbos, Connecticut Director, Environment Northeast
Amanda Kennedy, Connecticut Director, Regional Plan Association
Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
CC: State Senator Andrew M. Maynard, Transportation Committee Co-Chair
State Representative Antonio Guerrera, Transportation Committee Co-Chair
Connecticut DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker
Connecticut DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty
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