Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

New Transportation Bill Proposed

After months of saying it would come, and numerous field hearings, the new Transportation Bill has been offered up in the US House.

And wow. It’s bad. It’s worse than many had feared.

Some key things to know about this bill:

  • The bill eliminates dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
  • Transit hangs on to a 20% share of funding.
  • Spending goes down 33% compared to the last multi-year transportation bill.

Streetsblog and the LAB have more information on the bill, which is scheduled for a hearing on July 12 but is otherwise not scheduled in the present legislative session, which is going to be focused on larger budget issues and the debt ceiling.

The proper advocate thing to do here is to say that people who support funding for bike/ped projects, as well as funding that reflects the crumbling state of our national infrastructure, should write their Congressional delegates. And so I’m saying it. But I have to admit, the whole situation both in the state of Minnesota and federally depresses me. It’s hard to say that the voice of the people is important in a time of entrenched partisanship, economic hardship, and zeal for budgetary cutbacks (that in many cases do not meet an economic sniff test). In addition, Minnesota’s delegation is pretty set to either side — Ellison, McCollum, and Walz are typically pro-bike/ped funding and recognize the issues with infrastructure funding as critical. Collin Peterson, of Minnesota’s Seventh District, typically focuses more on roads and agriculture than on bike/ped. Kline and Paulsen are budget hawks, Bachmann is gung-ho for budget cuts, and Cravaack is a junior congressman who will do the bidding of his party.

But it’s what we can do. So, write your congressman or something. And if you feel the need to have a stiff one as you read the details of the transpo bill, don’t drink and drive, and don’t drink and bike.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.


  1. Bachmann is not “gung-ho for budget cuts”. She’s mental for massive spending on a six-lane bridge over the St Croix. You know that as well as I do.

  2. Well, there is that. But she’s running around Iowa spouting budget cuts of mathematical illogic at the same time.

    I think it’s safe to say that arguing for bike/ped funding on that front is a lot like beating your head against a brick wall: Doesn’t do a lot of good, feels good when you give up.