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May Bike Summit Update
This Month’s update includes the latest on Summit asks, as well as an update on the Budget process, and what to watch for this summer from Washington.
Please help! Federal performance measures ignore biking
Our biggest concern right now is new performance measures put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. We need as much help as possible in getting comments to the FHWA insisting they include bicyclists when they determine performance success of our transportation system.
Learn more here.
Update on Summit Asks
In the House, the PHIT Act gained 18 new co-sponsors, and one new Senate co-sponsor! This is a great opportunity to thank your member of Congress and remind them that you support PHIT as a bicyclist.
New House Co-sponsors
- Rep. Wagner, Ann [R-MO-2]
- Rep. Bishop, Mike [R-MI-8]
- Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13]
- Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]
- Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1]
- Rep. Rice, Kathleen M. [D-NY-4]
- Rep. Fattah, Chaka [D-PA-2]
- Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11]
- Rep. Takai, Mark [D-HI-1]
- Rep. Carson, Andre [D-IN-7]
- Rep. Simpson, Michael K. [R-ID-2]
- Rep. Knight, Stephen [R-CA-25]
- Rep. Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [R-PA-8]
- Rep. Clay, Wm. Lacy [D-MO-1]
- Rep. Polis, Jared [D-CO-2]
- Rep. Marino, Tom [R-PA-10]
- Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-19]
- Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7]
New Senate Cosponsor
TO DO: If you met with one of these lawmakers or their staff, please consider sending an email to thank them.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued guidelines to states on who will be eligible for the new bicycling and pedestrian safety funding initiative.
The new program (405 funding)
The law required that states whose bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities equaled more than 15 percent of their overall traffic fatalities would be eligible for new funding for education and enforcement on bicycle and pedestrian safety. That money can be spent on:
- Training of law enforcement officials on State laws applicable to pedestrian and bicycle safety;
- Enforcement mobilizations and campaigns designed to enforce State traffic laws applicable to pedestrian and bicycle safety; and
- Public education and awareness programs designed to inform motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists of State traffic laws applicable to pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Who is eligible?
To determine which states are eligible NHTSA used the most recent official federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System data (FARS) from 2014. To see a chart of how your state compares, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 23 states and DC that are eligible are:
District of Columbia
In order to use this money the Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) must apply by July 1. You can find your GHSO here.
To do: If you are from one of these states and talked about 405 funding in your Summit lobby visit this is a good time to email that staffer and update them that your state qualifies and the GHSO needs to apply by July.
Budget Process Update
In last month’s update I highlighted that the budget process was moving forward, and that is a time to watch out for amendments to cut funding for bicycling, walking or Transportation Alternatives.
The Senate voted on its transportation budget last week, and we did see an amendment introduced that would defund transportation alternatives. The good news — the amendment never made it to the Senate floor!
The Amendment was introduced by Senator Lee (R-UT) as one of many amendments that would have defunded Amtrak, TIGER and large chunks of the Federal Highways Administration and transit funding. (Senator Lee was able to get a vote on one amendment, and that was a housing amendment.)
The good news — the TIGER program was funded at $525 Million ( a 25 million increase). This program funds many multi-modal projects and has been great for biking, walking and complete streets projects.
The mixed news — In order to fund transit, Amtrak, TIGER and other programs, the bill requires “rescissions.” That means states will need to send back some of their unused transportation funding. This often hits Transportation Alternatives funding disproportionately. States spend TA funding slower that other funding, so they end up giving more of it back through rescissions.
This is a use it or lose it situation, so it’s important that we push states to use that Transportation Alternatives funding!