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.
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