Take Action: Stop Rand Paul from Slashing Bike-Ped Funding
The Transportation Alternatives program is under attack in Congress, with a new amendment calling for key funding to be wiped out entirely.
Last year’s MAP-21, the federal transportation bill, dismantled dedicated funding for biking and walking by consolidating programs and slashing overall funds by 30 percent. The silver lining came in the form of a local control provision that ensured that Mayors and communities could access the remaining dollars to support local transportation projects.
But now Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is aiming to wipe out what’s left. He has introduced an amendment to the Transportation Appropriations bill to prohibit any money to go to Transportation Alternatives — instead he calls for the funds to be redirected to bridge repair.
Caron Whitaker, the League’s Vice President for Government Relations, told POLITICO that the amendment is off the mark. TA represents 2 percent of transportation funding, and that percentage would hardly put a dent in bridge repair.
“Stripping the Mayors of this funding and putting the entire TA program funding to bridge repair couldn’t fix our country’s bridges in 40 or more years,” she said.“However, this 2 percent put towards transportation needs in our cities, towns and counties can make transportation in those communities more safe, efficient and accessible.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (center) poses with bicycle advocates following their successful amendment push in 2012.
Taking that small amount of funding away would dangerously undermine efforts in our cities, towns and counties to provide safe and efficient transportation options for everyone. With rates of bicycling and walking fatalities on the rise, that is a trade we can’t afford to make.
Paul’s amendment undoes the carefully crafted Cardin-Cochran amednment that increased local control for TA funds. These transportation projects are critical to any Mayor working to boost economic development and quality of life in American cities and towns.
Please contact your Senators and ask them to save Transportation Alternatives by voting NO on amendment 1742. Click here to take action today.