Bridges vs. Pedestrians

Who will win this latest round?

Last month Senator Coburn of Oklahoma tried to strip funding for Transportation Enhancements from the  6 month extension of the transportation bill and he failed.

But now Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is trying to do the same and wants to divert this funding for bridge repairs.

Transportation Enhancement funding is used for sidewalks, bike lanes, bike paths, trails and other infrastructure that make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The TE funding is small potatoes in the overall transportation budget but it’s vitally important.

And so, of course, are bridges. But even if every penny was diverted to bridge repair it would still take 80 years to fix all of the bridges that need repair.

Here is some more information from the national organization “Safe Routes to School National Partnership.”

  • “The Transportation Enhancements program represents less than two percent of federal transportation funds and these projects help alleviate traffic congestion, improve safety, get people active, and create more jobs per dollar than highway-only projects.
  • Last year, states gave more than $530 million dollars of bridge repair money back to the federal government last year.  States are leaving bridge repair funds on the table, unspent, year after year; they should at least spend these funds first.
  • Thirteen people died when the Minneapolis bridge collapsed in 2007: since then, close to 20,000 pedestrians and 2,800 cyclists have died on our nation’s highways, largely as a result of poor highway design and a lack of safe non-motorized infrastructure – exactly what the enhancement program was created to fix.”

So this is what we need you to do. Contact your senators and let them know that funding for Transportation Enhancements is vital and should not be diverted.

You can do this easily from this site.

Jan

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One response to this post.

  1. November 1, 2011 – Yea, it failed in the Senate. Thank you Senators Shumer and Gillibrand for voting No!

    Reply

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