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Another attempt to eliminate bike funding

In what seems to be a recurring theme this year a senator is proposing diverting Transportation Enhancement money from bicycle projects.

Transportation Enhancements represent 2 percent of the total transportation budget and go toward bicycle and pedestrian projects.

According the the League of American Bicyclists, this time Senator Rand Paul is proposing taking the money slated for TE grants and diverting it to repair bridges. The vote happens tomorrow, so today is the final day to let your senators know what you think about the proposal.

Here is what the LAB has to say:

It’s happening again.  Just one month ago, Sen. Coburn (R-OK) failed in his efforts to strip funding for Transportation Enhancements from the six-month transportation extension.

Now, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is taking the lead in trying to destroy Transportation Enhancements.  On November 1, the Senate will finalize the transportation appropriations bill, which sets funding levels for FY2012.  Sen. Paul has offered an amendment to redirect all funding for Transportation Enhancements to bridge repair. Here’s why his arguments don’t make sense.

This is the third time in a month that a small group of Senators have targeted Transportation Enhancements, using a different angle each time.  It is a red herring, and a waste of the Senate’s time and taxpayers dollars to focus on this small and valuable program when we are in dire need of real and viable solutions to fix our failing transportation system.

We agree on the need to keep our bridges safe, but the lives of pedestrians and cyclists are important too.  That is why we believe Senator Paul should withdraw his amendment now and let the Senate EPW Committee, which has jurisdiction over writing the next transportation bill, do their job.  The Committee is actually scheduled to mark-up their bill on November, 9. That is the appropriate time to discuss changes to the overall transportation program, not during the appropriations process.

We wrote about the $4.5 million in funding that is coming into the region to build bicycle and pedestrian friendly projects in Pima County last year. Check it out.

The LAB is asking people to take action through the “I bike, I vote. Please, preserve Transportation Enhancements.” link.

3 comments
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Richard Stands
Richard Stands

$14.9 Trillion Dollars.  With a T.  Perhaps these issues could be financed locally?

Americus Soul
Americus Soul

"We agree on the need to keep our bridges safe, but the lives of pedestrians and cyclists are important too.  " Maybe I'm missing something, but can't pedestrians and cyclists be found in the cars and trucks crossing bridges? And if those bridges collapse there will be worse problems than walkers and bikers without paths. And the last time I looked, feet and bicycles worked. IMPORTANT: THEY WORK Except when crossing chasms and rivers. Bridges 1, everything else less than 1. Sorry. I ride bikes myself, and walk a lot, but I'm no deluded. WE need to save money. 50 million dollars here, 100 million dollars there, 50 million dollars over there, and 400 million over here add up. I say you contact your elected cryminals in DC and tell them to do their job --- save the country some money. NOW. You can have your bike paths and walkways back a little later. PLEASE start to consider the nation and not your special interests. Thanks.

Frank Tellez
Frank Tellez

Did it. If you click the link it takes you to a little form that takes 3 seconds to fill out.