The Federal Government wants its money back and bicycle and pedestrian projects could suffer.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, the federal budget deal signed last week requires states to return federal transportation dollars. The government wants $2.5 billion back.
The federal government will tell each state how much they have to send back and the state’s Department of Transportation makes the decision about which money to return. Here is what the LAB wrote:
In the latest budget deal between the Republicans and Democrats, the two parties agreed to rescind (read: take back) $2.5 billion in unspent federal transportation funds. Your state DOT has the power to decide which funds they send back. And based upon history we know what happens next.
Your state DOT may try to empty out the funds that pay for your sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, and education programs.
We have seen this before, and it is happening again. Last year, when states had to send back $2.2 billion in transportation funds, almost half of that money came from programs that fund bicycling and walking projects. See our Rescessions FAQ’s for more information.
Please contact your Governor today to tell them this is wrong. Funding cuts for the rescission should be fair and proportional across the board.
Transportation Enhancement grants, which are often targeted, have funded dozens of projects in the region including: the Bike Ambassador program, river path projects, bike lanes and bike boulevards.
Here is what the LAB is suggesting bicycle advocates do.
We are sending out an alert to ask governors to work with their state DOTs to make sure bicycle and pedestrian funding programs are not disproportionately targeted, if at all.
Take Action now. (Go to this link and select your state from the drop down list.)