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Campaign Update: PA Moves Towards Dedicated Biking & Walking Funding
Cross-posted from Advocacy Advance blog, by Mary Lauran Hall, Alliance for Biking & Walking
Thanks to great grassroots advocacy, Pennsylvania just got a little closer to recognizing walking and biking as truly integral components of the state’s transportation system.
Republican state Sen. John Rafferty, chair of the Senate transportation committee, introduced a bill last week that would create dedicated funding for walking and biking paths in the state. He also plans to propose a Complete Streets policy — a bill stipulating that transportation planners consider people traveling by bike, on foot, and by transit in addition to by car.
The dedicated funding provision will be attached to a larger statewide transportation funding measure and would raise $2.5 billion for transportation in the state annually by drawing on wholesale fuel taxes.
This is Pennsylvania’s first commitment to designate specific transportation dollars for active transportation — and it will have a huge impact on walkability and bikeability in neighborhood streets. Governor Tom Corbett’s Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch acknowledged that the state’s engineers and planners routinely try to incorporate bike and walk infrastructure into construction projects, but often lack funding to do so. With dedicated funding, cities and towns will have clear budget sources for active transportation projects.
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(Photo: The new Pennsylvania funding measure could support rail trails like this one. Credit: Richard Masoner/Flickr)