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Congress Releases A Budget Including 2022 Summit Ask For ATIIP Funding
Congress has until Friday to pass a budget for the fiscal year 2023 or they risk going into a shutdown — and yesterday, they released their compromise bill, which includes transportation funding! We expect the House and Senate to vote on the bill this week, and for President Biden to sign it by Friday.
This year at the League’s National Bike Summit, hundreds of bike advocates across the country met with their members of Congress and asked for funding for two programs:
The Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program (ATIIP)
The ATIIP, originally devised by the Rails to Trails Conservancy, would provide large grants to local governments to build out active transportation networks within cities, or to build connectors between communities.
We were successful in securing $45 million for this program! Thank you to everyone who lobbied at the Summit, responded to action alerts, or otherwise supported the effort.
The Healthy Streets Program
The Healthy Streets Program would fund communities to address urban heat islands and flooding in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
Unfortunately, this program was not funded. We were successful in getting funding into the House budget, but not the Senate. It was then dropped from negotiations.
More News On These Programs
Truthfully, we had hoped for higher funding for the ATIIP. Minimum grant awards are $15 million, so this budget only allows funding for three communities. However, the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed in September, included a Neighborhood Access and Equity program for which both ATIIP and Healthy Streets projects are eligible.
The Neighborhood Access and Equity Program focuses on mitigating harm to low-income communities and communities of color caused by existing transportation projects, ones that have neglected multimodal options, and promotes increasing safety and active transportation connections as part of the solution. There is $3.1 billion available under the Neighborhood Access and Equity Program, including $1.1 billion specifically for low-income communities and $42 million for technical assistance to help communities access the funding.
Also In The Budget Being Debated This Week
$25 Million for Thriving Communities. This program funds technical assistance for communities who have never successfully applied for federal funding.
$150 Million for PROTECT grants. These are grants to help communities mitigate the effects of climate change. This can include improving bicycling and walking networks.
$1.9 Billion in Congressionally Designated Projects (roads and bridges). This is funding earmarked for specific projects by members of Congress. Several of these are for bicycling and walking projects. (An additional $360 million was designated for transit projects.)
In 2023, there will be many more opportunities to improve the safety, ease, and connectivity of biking and walking. Learn more about what’s ahead in a webinar with our deputy executive director Caron Whitaker on Thursday, January 12th at 3 pm ET. Register here.