Our Reconciliation checklist
Follow along with the League as we learn more about which of our asks were included in the forthcoming reconciliation bill by the various committees in the House and Senate. (We’ll be updating this blog and checklist as we learn more about what is in the bills.)
|Bicycle Commuter Benefit
|Tax incentive for installing micromobility charging stations
|Building out networks
|Reducing barriers to biking and walking in low income communities (Reconnecting Communities)
|Reducing urban heat island effect
|Improve safety for vulnerable road users
Around 10pm on Friday, September 10, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee released a draft of their section of the reconciliation bill… and it looks great for bicycling and walking!
The Committee had to limit their spending to areas not covered by the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last month by the Senate. They also had $57 billion to spend, much less than a traditional transportation bill however they also could be a bit more creative. All of their programs focused on reducing climate change and improving equity and access.
Here’s what is in it that benefits bicycling and walking:
$4 Billion to Community Climate Incentive grants
This program funds the US Department of Transportation to create a Greenhouse gas performance measure, including an incentive for states that make and meet aggressive goals, and consequences for states that don’t reduce GHG emissions. The program also includes $950 million for states and $3 billion for local governments for projects and plans that reduce emissions.
$4 Billion for Neighborhood access and equity grants
This program is similar to, but more inclusive than the Reconnecting Communities program in the bipartisan bill. It requires 40 percent be spent in low income communities, and funds projects that:
- Remove and mitigate barriers, like highways, that divide communities
- Reconnect communities by improving walking and bicycling access and vulnerable road user safety.
- Address environmental justice issues like air and noise pollution, urban heat island effect, and flooding that results from highways built through low income communities and communities of color
- Build technical capacity within low income communities
$100 million for the Traffic safety clearinghouse
This clearinghouse would fund and disseminate research and best practices on how best to ensure equitable enforcement and reduce racial profiling while improving safety.
$8 million for Automated Vehicle and mobility innovation
Creates a clearinghouse to fund and disseminate research and best practices on secondary and societal effects of automated vehicles including safety, equity, land use, local government budgets etc.
$6 Billion for Local Transportation priorities
It is unclear what this is for, but we’re hoping it will promote local control which often benefits bicycling and walking.
$10 billion for Affordable House Access Program (Transit and Housing)
The goal of this program is to improve access for low income communities to get to everyday destinations. This is basically a transit program but also includes improving access for people with disabilities.
Will This Bill Change Through the Process
This list represents about half of the programs in the Committee’s bill, and those most related to bicycling and walking. The other programs are for rail and maritime transportation, improvements for natural disasters, research on alternative fuels for airplanes, etc.
The good news is that the House and Senate Committees are working together on this. However, the bill will have to pass the muster of the Parliamentarian process for reconciliation. That process should take place the week of September 20th, so join us for a federal policy webinar on September 24th at 3pm ET. Register here »
Want to get more involved?
Contact your representatives in Congress and tell them you support our priorities in the final reconciliation bill:
- Tax incentives that will promote sustainable transportation like the Bicycle Commuter Benefit and a tax rebate on e-bikes, which are crucial to ensuring sustainable transportation is accessible across incomes and regions.
- Reconnecting Communities, a program that aims to reconnect and revitalize communities of color and low-income communities that were harmed in the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The program will offer new mobility options to non-drivers and expand economic opportunity in and near their hometowns.
- Well-funded sustainable transportation infrastructure networks. By building bicycle and pedestrian networks with convenient connections to transit, many Americans will enjoy newly available mobility options.