State & Local Groups--Sign on to letter to Congress to restore funding for built environment and health program
The President’s recently released budget eliminates funding for the national Built Environment and Health Initiative (BEHI), known as the Healthy Community Design Initiative.
The CDC is asking national, state and local groups to sign on to its letter to Congress asking for $3 million for that program in 2017. Bike Walk Connecticut has signed on. The deadline for signing on is Friday, February 19.
Read the letter here. Authorized signatories can sign on to the letter here.
Earlier this week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a long-awaited transportation bill.
Sometimes the hardest work results in nothing happening, and that can be the biggest victory of all. Through the advocacy efforts of groups like the League of American Bicyclists, Rails to Trails, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, Transportation for America, and grassroots advocates like us, we fended off attacks on core trails and active-transportation programs.
Bad proposals known as the Carter and Yoho amendments did not even make it to the floor for a vote. The Carter and Yoho amendments would have made biking and walking projects ineligible for certain types of transportation funding, compromised local small project funding often used for bicycling and walking projects, and made the Recreational Trails Program ineligible for any transportation funding. Bad ideas, all of them!
The underlying Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act rolls transportation alternatives into the surface transportation block grant while maintaining the local control aspects and competitive process that made transportation alternatives program effective at helping Mayors and communities fund their transportation priorities important to their communities.
The final bill includes flat funding of Transportation Alternatives at current levels. The bill also includes positive provisions that would make low-interest financing accessible to smaller projects, such as active-transportation networks. Next up is a conference committee, where the Senate and House will negotiate a final bill.
To learn more about what is in the bill, and how it compares to the Senate bill, sign up for the LAB webinar on Tuesday November 10, here.
Connecticut's US Senator Chris Murphy wants to "bring a human face to the debate over transportation funding and fight for investments that are smart and driven by you."
Please send the message that creating safe, connected networks for biking and walking is an extremely cost-efficient way to give people real options for getting around without relying on a car for every errand, every outing, and every commute.
To join this conversation, visit www.murphy.senate.gov/fedup and share your perspective.
Here's Senator Murphy's message:
As I travel across Connecticut, I’ve heard countless stories from people about how our transportation system has failed them. A barber commuting from Waterbury to Bridgeport has to choose between serving customers from the after-work rush and making it home for dinner because there is a four-hour wait between trains. A working mom in Norwalk can almost never make her son’s baseball games because of traffic on I-95. A Milford businessman routinely has to budget two hours to travel fewer than twenty-five miles.
People are fed up. Connecticut has some of the worst traffic and the oldest infrastructure in the nation. Traffic, congestion, and delays are more than abstract concepts that affect commerce or productivity. Traffic means stress. Congestion means being late for work. Delays mean missing dinner with your kids night after night.
That’s why I'm reaching out to you. I want to hear your story. How long is your commute? What would a shorter, more reliable commute mean to you and your family? Why you are fed up?
To join this conversation, I encourage you to visit www.murphy.senate.gov/fedup and share your perspective.
I will take your stories to Washington to bring a human face to the debate over transportation funding and fight for investments that are smart and driven by you. Because it’s about time we fix this.
All my best,
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy
Washington: 136 Hart Senate Office Bldg. , Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4041
Hartford: One Constitution Plaza, 7th Fl., Hartford, Connecticut 06103 (860) 549-8463
Congress is preparing to take action on a new federal transportation bill. Given the shortfall of federal transportation dollars, some members of Congress are already questioning why the federal government provides any funding for bicycling and walking.
Let's make sure Congress doesn't cut funding to help local communities build sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, trails and more. Please ask our US Senators Blumenthal and Murphy to Co-Sponsor S. 705, The Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act.
Background: The Transportation Alternatives Program provides hundreds of millions of dollars each year to local communities to invest in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. It's the only federal program specifically focused on local transportation priorities. S. 705, the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act, written by Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), makes changes to the program to make it more effective and easier for local governments to use.
For decades, our federal transportation system has focused the bulk of its resources on building roads, leaving many of our communities with few transportation options and rising safety risks for people bicycling and walking. More and more Americans want options for bicycling, walking and transit to live healthier and safer lives. More and more cities and towns are clamoring for more facilities for biking and walking to make their communities more attractive to residents and to improve their economies. S. 705 would help make sure that Congress continues to invest a small share of federal transportation dollars in these types of projects.
And really, what could be greener, zero-emission forms of transportation than biking and walking?
Ask our Senators to cosponsor S. 705, the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act, to ensure that our federal transportation system continues to provide funding for bicycling and walking. Take Action Here.
The US DOT's Federal Transit Administration is making $19.98 million available to support comprehensive planning associated with Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Awards will range from $250,000 to $2,000,000.
According to the notice from FTA, “the grants will fund comprehensive planning that supports economic development, ridership, multimodal connectivity and accessibility, increased transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and mixed-use development near transit stations.”
FTA intends to fund planning work that would likely not occur without Federal support and is seeking comprehensive planning projects covering an entire transit capital project corridor.
In a nod to the importance of regional cooperation, "Only one application per transit capital project corridor may be submitted to FTA. Multiple applications submitted for a single transit capital project corridor indicate to FTA that partnerships are not in place and FTA will reject all of the applications."
Proposals must address six aspects explained in the funding notice, including how the project “increases access to transit hubs for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.”
With the FTA open to receive grant applications, T4America has organized an online session to explain the program, how it works, and what kind of applications FTA will be looking for. We’ll have Therese McMillan on hand, Acting Administrator of FTA, as well as experts from Transportation for America to discuss this new program. Find out more information about this T4A webinar taking place on Friday, September 26, and register.
The closing date for proposals is Monday, November 3, 2014 at 11:59pm EDT.
Bike Walk Connecticut is interested to hear who will apply from CT. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FTA Funding Announcement: http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/13077_16135.html
Transportation for America: http://t4america.org/2014/09/10/new-grant-program-to-support-smart-development-around-transit-lines-is-open-for-business
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal joined original sponsor click here.highway safety improvement program. To send a message thanking him for his support,
The bill directs the US Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to establish performance measures for states to use to assess significant reductions in the number of serious injuries and fatalities specifically for both motorized and nonmotorized transportation.
Senator Blumenthal's support for S 1708 comes on the heels of the release of the Most Dangerous Roads report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. That analysis reported 111 pedestrian deaths on Connecticut roads from 2010 - 2012.
Read more about federal Senate Bill 1708 at the LAB website, click here to tell your Congressperson to take action.
Ask your Congressman/woman to Support the "New Opportunities" Bike/Ped Financing Bill at http://bit.ly/1cYWlKt
Hey Connecticut! Help make sure your town has access to a new way to finance safe streets for everyone--ask your Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 3978 today!
One of the biggest challenges to making communities more walkable and bikeable is that there’s often only enough funding to build one stretch of pathways or sidewalks at a time—leaving incomplete networks from homes to schools, workplaces or other destinations. Don't we know it!
A new federal bill from Reps. Sires (D-NJ), Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Carson (D-IN), and Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) looks to change that. The New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act (HR 3978) would give communities access to low-cost loans to build bicycling and walking networks. This means a city could get a loan now and build a network of sidewalks, bike lanes and paths to improve safety and increase physical activity—and repay the loan over many years.
The bill would set aside $11 million from the existing $1 billion TIFIA loan program to test out this new financing program for bicycling and walking. (TIFIA stands for the "Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.") Another innovative aspect of the bill is that 25 percent of any loaned funds must be spent in low-income communities.
Help make sure your town has access to a new way to finance safe streets for everyone--ask your Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 3978 today!
The American League of Bicyclists reported the U.S. Senate blocked the Transportation, HUD Appropriations bill, which would have ended debate and brought a vote on the substance of the bill.
The final vote was 54-43. To end debate on a bill there needs to be at least 60 votes in favor to pass.
The Transportation HUD Appropriations bill had passed the Appropriations Committee with strong support from both sides. However, earlier this week, Republican leadership of the Senate argued against the bill, stating the funding level for it was too high.
What does this mean? Both the House and Senate have failed to pass a Transportation and Housing budget. In order to keep the U.S. Department of Transportation open, Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution by the end of September.
We will keep you posted on further updates as they become available.
The League of American Bicyclists reported this week the U.S. Senate
UPDATE THURSDAY 1:00 PM: TRANSPORTATION APPROPRIATIONS FAILS IN SENATE: In an almost party-line vote, the Senate blocked the THUD bill. The Senate scheduled a vote today for cloture on the Transporation, HUD Appropriations, which would have ended debate and brought a vote on the substance of the bill. For a cloture vote to pass it must get 60 votes. The cloture vote on THUD failed to do so with a final vote of 54-43.
The bill had been hailed as bi-partisan and passed the Appropriations Committee with strong support from both sides of the aisle. However, this week, Republican leadership in the Senate argued against the bill because, they said, the funding level was too high.
This means now that both chambers have failed to pass a Transportation and Housing budget. Congress will need to pass a continuing resolution by the end of September in order to keep U.S. Department of Transportation open and transportation dollars flowing.
The League of American Bicyclists reported earlier today that the U.S. House leadership pulled the Transportation Appropriations Bill from the floor. Debate and voting on the Bill are postponed until September. If passed, the Bill would include cuts to the Community Development Fund Grant, which funds many programs in local cities, which are used for infrastructure development.
In the Senate however, Senate Majority Leader Reid filed for cloture on the Senate Transportation Appropriations, which means the Senate will vote on Thursday (August 1) to end debate on the Bill and move on to voting.
Additionally, on Tuesday, July 30, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced Amendment 1798 to the Transportation Appropriations Bill to take all the funds from the Transportation Alternatives Program.
Bike Walk Connecticut will keep you posted on the Senate vote this week.
On December 10, Connecticut's leading transportation advocates--the Regional Plan Association, Transit for Connecticut, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the Business Council of Fairfield County, Capitol Region Council of Governments, Connecticut Association for Community Transportation, Connecticut Construction Industries Association--convened elected officials, transportation experts, and state decision makers to learn how we can work together to move Connecticut forward.
Jack Basso, Director of Program Finance and Management for AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transit Officials), was the keynote speaker. Panelists included Emil Frankel, Bipartisan Policy Center; Oz Griebel, MetroHartford Alliance; Joe McGee, The Business Council of Fairfield County; and Commissioner Jim Redeker, Connecticut Department of Transportation.
Presentations from AASHTO's Jack Basso and DOT Commissioner Jim Redeker are available below.
Bike Walk Connecticut
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