Another Senator Takes Aim at Transportation Enhancements
Bike and pedestrian funding is becoming an easy target these days as Congress finalizes future transportation funding and legislation. Last month, Senator Coburn (R-OK) targeted Transportation Enhancement funding with an amendment in the 6-month SAFETEA-LU extension; and now Senator Rand (R-KY) is targeting the same pot of funds with an amendment that would eliminate all Transportation Enhancement program funds and re-direct them to pay for bridge repairs. Although weary, bike advocates are vigilantly defending our largest source of dedicated bike/ped funding.
If you haven’t already, please contact Senators Graham and DeMint and encourage them to vote against Senator Rand’s amendment (SA-821) to the 2012 Transportation Appropriations bill.
Meanwhile, you’re probably wondering why this continues to occur. In the words of Jay Walljasper, How in the the world can biking and walking be controversial? If bike/ped funding is such a small sliver of the pie (less than 1% in SC), why is it continuing to be targeted? And why now? Unfortunately, a lot of it comes down to politics. There is a small group of Senators that are against Federally supported bicycle and pedestrian funding of any kind, and when a opportunity presents itself, they do what they can to derail any such funding. All the more reason for bike advocates to remain vigilant and voice their support of these programs.
To understand why this seems to be occurring more frequently, and why we should be prepared for even more threats, read our July blog post on the Transportation Reauthorization.