Latest news on the federal transportation billJun 30th, 2012 | By Jody | Category: Advocacy
The new Transportation Bill is MAP-21 passed June 30, 2012 and extends until October 1, 2014.
*** Visit @americabikes on twitter for latest news **
Last Update: 7/2/12:
America Bikes, Caron Whitaker:
As you have likely heard, the House and Senate passed a new transportation bill last week.
This new bill disproportionately cuts local funding for biking and walking projects and represents a major step backwards in transportation policy for better, healthier, safer transportation choices.
Click here to see America Bikes' analysis of biking and walking in the new bill.
While there isn't much good news about this new bill, we believe that the language improved significantly in the final few weeks of negotiations thanks to efforts from thousands of people like you around the country.
Together, we logged hundreds of thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls to Senators and Representatives in favor of better biking and walking policy. They heard us.
Without your outreach, the bill would have been much worse. Thank you.
At this point, Congress has passed a one-week extension of current law in order to give President Obama time to sign the new bill into law. Current levels of funding will continue until October of this year, at which point all biking and walking programs will be consolidated into the new Transportation Alternatives program with reduced funding.
What can we do now? Well, because current funding will remain for several months, there is still time to make sure that your local elected officials take full advantage of remaining dedicated biking and walking funding.
There is also still time to work with governors and state departments of transportation to encourage states not to opt out of funding that local governments could receive for biking and walking projects.
When the new law takes effect, advocacy at the state and local levels will become even more essential.
Thank you for all your work to improve biking and walking policy. For the latest updates on federal policy related to biking and walking, please tune in to our blog.
Campaign Director, America Bikes
Last Update: 6/30/12
Analysis of the New Transportation Bill, MAP-21
Posted by Mary Lauran Hall on June 29, 2012
Last Update: 6/29/12
Last Update: 6/18/12
League of American Bicyclists
Congress Needs to Hear from Everyone who Rides a Bike — Again
Last Update: 6/5/12
Posted by Mary Lauran Hall on June 05, 2012 · http://www.americabikes.org/why_cardin_cochran
Last Update: 4/25/12
Senate and House Announce Transportation Bill Conferees
On Tuesday, he Senate released the names of the lawmakers from that chamber who will sit on the conference committee for the transportation authorization bill. The committee, made of up Senators and Representatives from both parties, will have to negotiate the differences between the Senate’s MAP-21 and the modified extension of the current transportation authorization, SAFETEA-LU, passed by the House last Wednesday.
Conference Committee includes Patrick Tiberi (OH-12) of the Ways & Means Committee
Last Update: 4/19/12:
Transportation Bill Moves Forward, Bicycling Funding Dodges a Bullet
Posted by Caron Whitaker on April 19, 2012
Yesterday the House voted to extend current transportation law for another 90 days, and dedicated funding for biking and walking remains safe!
While House leadership did include amendments to incorporate Republican priorities such as the Keystone XL pipeline and provisions to weaken environmental oversight, biking and walking programs survived unscathed.
On Wednesday, the House passed another 90-day extension of current transportation law. If it were to pass the Senate, this extension would apply from July 1 until September 30, 2012. This time, the extension contained a number of policy-add ons, but no legislation attacking biking and walking.
Last Update: 4/5/12:
Transportation bill faces more bumps ahead
As Congress starts back down the road on hammering out a transportation bill, expect more nail-biting extension deadlines, delayed projects for states and partisan spats. The reason is simple: money.
With gas tax revenues falling, there just isn’t enough money to go around for federal transportation programs. The simplest solution would be to raise the gas tax, but that’s politically poisonous. Still, the pressure from states and outside groups to finish a bill has politicians upping the rhetoric and reaching for some unorthodox and ultimately temporary solutions.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/74891.html
Last Update: 4/2/12:
Wonkbook: Congress fails on infrastructure. Again.
Posted by Ezra Klein at 07:34 AM ET, 04/02/2012
On Friday, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012. Odds are you didn't hear about it. There wasn't a signing ceremony in the Rose Garden, and no one on the Hill rushed to the cameras to take the credit. The White House's statement was less than 50 words, and neither John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Mitch McConnell even issued a press release. And for good reason: Each and every one of them is ashamed of this bill. As they should be.
Last Update: 3/29/12:
White House signals it will accept 90-day highway extension
The White House signaled to Senate Democrats that it was OK to accept a short-term extension of federal transportation funding passed Thursday by the House, even as it criticized Republicans for punting on a long-term bill.
After debating the length of a short-term extension for most of the week, the House approved an extension of the current legislation that provides funding for road and transit projects on a 266-158 vote. The extension, which lawmakers in both chambers said initially they did not want to have to do, is the ninth of the transportation legislation that expired in 2009.
Last Update: 3/24/12:
Obama Urges House of Representatives to Pass Transportation Bill
U.S. President Barack Obama is urging the House of Representatives to pass a transportation bill he says will put more Americans back to work and prevent a setback to the economic recovery. The Senate has already passed a bi-partisan version of the bill to repair roads, bridges and support construction jobs.
Last Update: 3/16/12:
The House won’t take up a transportation bill until after the two-week Easter recess, transportation committee aides told a group of transportation officials yesterday.
Last Update: 3/9/12:
By Mick Cornett, Mayor, Oklahoma City, Eugene A. Conti, Jr., Secretary of Transportation, N.C. and Steve Heminger, Exec. Dir., Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission- 03/09/12 11:21 AM ET
We also would like to see House leaders restore dedicated funding for programs that make local communities safer for bicycling and walking. Given what a tiny share of the transportation budget it represents, we can’t see any advantage in killing these programs. But we see a lot of good in continuing to help towns revitalize their Main Streets and connect neighborhoods to make it safer for kids to walk or bicycle to school, getting some exercise in the process.
Last Update: 3/8/12:
(Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, signaling a lack of Republican support for a stalled $260 billion transportation bill, said on Thursday he was ready to pursue a less-ambitious version under consideration by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Last Update: 3/6/12:
Source: People for Bikes
Despite our gains in the Senate, the future of federal funding for bicycling remains uncertain. The battle returns to the House of Representatives, where some leading members continue to push to eliminate key bike programs
Last Update: 2/27/12:
Source: League of American Bicyclists
Good News Roundup
Even though there are lots of great news aggregators and tools to see what the world's media is saying about bicycling, we wanted to make sure you didn't miss some of these recent gems. Ed McMahon captured the core of our transportation bill and Summit message this weekend in a piece for CitiWire, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made a lot of similar points about the value of bike/ped investments on his blog. Last weekend, health expert Dr. Jim Sallis memorably described the House transportation proposal as a "pro-obesity bill" in this excellent editorial.
In the "man bites dog" category, the ultimate car website has this story on how drivers should behave around cyclists, to be followed on March 1 by a companion piece for cyclists. Transportation Nation has a great "bikes are the new cars" piece, and Milwaukee's amazing indoor mountain bike park was picked up by the New York Times.
Last Update: 2/16/12:
Source: League of American Bicyclists
But there have been many truly inspiring moments as well.
Bicyclists have really stepped up. At all levels – in local communities, in states, and nationally, and at universities and businesses across the country – we have seen a tremendous outpouring of energy. It has come from a wide range of people interested in promoting cycling, including transportation experts, health advocates, safety advocates, bicycling buffs, and even those concerned about the military preparedness of our young people.
Source: The Hill
Last Update: 2/14/12:
Source: Rails to Trails Conservancy
Update: Moments before this email was sent, we received word that, against all odds, the House just announced that their bill will be broken into smaller pieces… arguably an implicit acknowledgement that support for the bill was faltering after a groundswell of opposition!
The current U.S. Senate version of our next federal transportation bill is really damaging for trails, walking and bicycling.
But, there's a solution!
By now, you hopefully know we don't cry wolf.
We respect your time and try to only ask for your voice when it's truly important.
We need your help for the second time in less than a week because both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate will be moving quickly on their respective drafts of our nation's next multiyear transportation bill.
So, please know our increased messaging is only because we face the most dangerous time in our movement's history.
Unfortunately, both the House and Senate bills take drastic steps to eliminate dedicated funding for trails, walking and bicycling despite 20 years of wildly popular and cost-effective investment in building safer and healthier communities.
But thankfully, there is a solution! U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) have introduced an amendment (Amdt. #1549) to the Senate bill that would ensure communities a fair shot at dedicating funding for trails, walking and bicycling. Further, Senator Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will introduce an amendment that would restore the Recreational Trails Program.
Please ask your senator to support the Cardin/Cochran and Klobuchar amendments. Your senator's backing could help ensure that communities like yours will have the opportunity to apply a tiny slice of the federal transportation funding to build trails and other facilities that make it safe to walk and bicycle.
Please stay tuned as we continue to closely monitor the progress of these bills. Your action is already making a difference, as the above update indicates.
Thank you, in advance, for your willingness to read and respond to these urgent calls for action.
Vice President of Policy and Trail Development
Last Update: 2/13/12:
Source: League of American Bicyclists
Transportation Bill Update
The House bill has moved through committee and a vote on the floor is expected on Friday. Last week we sent an advocacy alert asking you to contact your representatives to encourage them to vote no on H.R.7 American Infrastructure and Energy Jobs Act. Late last week, our bipartisan allies in the House who proposed an amendment in Committee announced they are trying again to restore funding for bicycling and walking programs on the floor of the House. We are working in key districts to support the Petri/Johnson amendment so we can send a strong message to House leadership that dedicated bicycle/pedestrian funding should be in the next bill.
To improve the Senate Transportation Bill (MAP-21) we are asking senators to vote for a bipartisan amendment, authored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), to guarantee local governments a voice in transportation decisions. We expect a Senate floor vote the week of February 27th. For up-to-date information, visit bikeleague.org and americabikes.org.
Share this American Bicyclist Update with your cycling friends and fellow bike commuters. The generous support from the League's members make publications like this possible. Join the League today.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.
Last Update: 2/11/12:
Source: The Outspoken Cyclist
Our first guest is Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette, representing Ohio’s 14th District. Congressman LaTourette disproves the notion that walking and biking infrastructure is a partisan issue, and will be bringing amendments to the transportation bill aimed at restoring the modest amount of funding set aside for bike/ped projects. Diane caught up with Mr. LaTourette earlier this week, and he has some interesting things to say.