Save Federal Funding for Safe Roads and Transit!

The House has released its new transportation bill eliminating the funding that had been dedicated to repair roads and bridges in disrepair.  With the new bill, money can be spent to construct new highways before being spent to repair those already in existence, and eliminates funding for pedestrian and cyclist safety.  SmartGrowth America released the following statement and call to action in order to amend the bill for safer roads and bridges:

Today the House released its draft transportation bill to the public. Our colleagues at Transportation for America are still evaluating the overall bill, but we have a chance in the next 24 hours to help fix America's bridges and restore the dedicated funding that makes our roads safer for people on foot or bike, which has been eliminated.

We need your help: tell your Representative to support two amendments that would restore funding for safe biking and walking, and make repairing our deficient bridges a priority.

The House committee that wrote the bill will vote on it
 Thursday morning, and they will decide in less than 48 hours what to change before approving it and moving it to the full House for a vote.

The bill fails to require states to put a priority on fixing the country’s 69,000 deficient bridges
 before spending money on new highways. In just the next 48 hours before the committee votes, there will be more than 565 million trips taken across deficient bridges in the U.S. That’s enough cars to line them up end to end from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. and back...267 times.

Tell your Representative to support safety and repair amendments in the Transportation bill: click here to send a letter to your member of Congress.

Pedestrian deaths have increased in the past year, yet this bill eliminates the tiny amount of funding dedicated to making streets safer for everyone. It makes it optional for states to fix roads that endanger people on foot or bicycle. And the bill even gets rid of
 Safe Routes to School, the hugely popular program designed to keep kids safe on their way to and from school.

Please express your support for amendments to fix both those shortcomings:

  • Rep. Petri (R-WI) will offer an amendment that restores dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School programs.
  • A second amendment will require states to prioritize repairing bridges first, unless their bridges are in good condition — providing much-needed accountability that states are taking care of the most pressing problems first.

We need your help to support these amendments. If your representative is on the committee, please tell him or her to vote for them. If not, please ask your representative to urge their committee colleagues to vote for them.

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Now is the time to stand up

To contact your member of Congress, click here. 

Finding the Ways and Means

I'm interested to watch this bill's progress in the House Ways and Means Committee as members try to finance this bill. The proposed bill eliminates support that addresses the US's infrastructure crisis while expanding a highways program that we know is unsustainable over the long-term. Some advocates are worried that the Mass Transit Account would be tapped to fund these expensive toll road projects. Our representatives in Congress need to hear more about sustainable street projects that not only provide jobs, but also serve the interests of taxpayers.

Get the latest on the bill

Get the latest on the bill via DC Streetsblog.

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