Yeah, up the defcon level and shake your panic maker. Today’s the day the proposed Transpo Bill gets published.
Turns out it may be even worse than previously rumored.
A few points:
- Transportation Enhancements become optional.
- Safe Routes to Schools gets axed.
- Eliminated bike/ped coordinators in state DOTs — while presumably, they could still be funded at the state level,it wouldn’t be federally supported.
- Requirements for bridges to have bike/ped access are removed from the bill.
- Language that ensures that rumble strips don’t “adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled” is removed.
- Plans exist to “pay for” the bill with new oil drilling, and an oil pipeline recently vetoed by President Obama.
Even some Republicans are saying the bill is crazytown. The League of American Bicyclists reports that Representative Tom Petri (R-WI) will be proposing an amendment within the Transportation Committee that restores dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Per T4A, other Republicans have said that the plan to pay for transportation via new drilling is not realistic.
So, yeah. As usual, the expected action from people who like walking and biking and sharing roads and all of that is to contact your Congressperson, particularly those on the House Transportation Committee. In Minnesota, that’s Tim Walz of the DFL, and Chip Cravaack on the Republican majority.