WASHINGTON — As states, counties and cities begin to really recognize the importance of bikeable and walkable communities, U.S. House GOP members are trying to kill funding for all such projects. A major blow, to say the least.
Two members of the U.S. Senate came forward early this year to try to help along biking and walking funding, and introduced the Cardin-Cochran amendment, which allows cities and counties to have a say in how their respective states spend federal funds. Introduced by Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), the amendment fosters competition for complete streets and other community safety and development projects, and gives smaller municipalities more control over the use of federal funds, not just state DOTs, through a grant-application process.
The Cardin-Cochran Amendment does not restore dedicated funds for biking and walking, which Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) of the Senate Environment and Public Works successfully eliminated from the bill, but lets cities compete for general transportation funds for biking and walking projects.
While negotiating the final version of the bill, the House wants to void the Cardin-Cochran amendment all together by allowing states to "opt-out" of the funding pool all together.
Here is where you come in.
Organizations worldwide are demonstrating the worth of these biking and walking projects by showing people prefer cities and neighborhoods with walkable and bikeable streets. It has also been shown that cities with these amenities are in high demand and starting to boost real estate values. They provide healthy transportation alternatives and vibrant communities.
For a full breakdown of the biking and walking in the Senate Transportation Bill, MAP-21, click here.