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Did Your State Get An Earmark For Better Bicycling Infrastructure?
Right before Christmas, Congress passed the $1.7 trillion dollar Omnibus spending bill — and for the second time in a decade, some of that spending went towards earmarks called Community Designated Projects. The bill contains $1.8 billion dollars worth of road earmarks of which $244 million is for bicycling and walking projects, $29 million is for safety projects (almost all have a bicycle or pedestrian safety component) and $15.5 million is for Complete Streets projects.
This Community Designated Projects process allows members of Congress to request funding for a specific project or program in their community. Earmark projects were suspended for roughly a decade because of concerns about corruption, but they have returned recently under new rules and procedures designed to ensure the process is transparent and legitimate. Some of the rules include requiring a member of Congress to list their earmark requests on their website, report any financial or other personal connection to a project, and ensure local support. Overall, earmarks can only be 1% of the total spending.
Interested in seeing which of these projects are in your state, and if your member of Congress supported them? Here’s a spreadsheet. Thanks to Transportation for America for their help in this analysis.
Here’s What You Can Do To Support Projects in Your Area
Send a thank you note to the Senator and/or Representative that submitted the request.
Please go into the spreadsheet and leave us a comment (using the + sign in the toolbar rather than writing directly in the spreadsheet cell) in the “constituent comment” column letting us know if you support the project or anything else about the project you’d like us to know. We’ll use that information to thank members of Congress next time we’re in their office!
Please note: your comment will not show up in the column but rather like this (this is to ensure data doesn’t accidentally get deleted from the file.)
The Omnibus included more for bicycling than just earmarks. Here’s a blog about the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program also funded through this funding measure. Follow the League for future blogs on wins in the Omnibus bill!