Federal funding for bike and pedestrian safety is once again on the chopping block.
Senator Rand Paul has seized upon the very serious T4 America reports examining the woeful condition of our country’s bridges to force Americans to make an unnecessary choice: safety in our cars while crossing bridges or safety while walking or biking in our communities.
Tell your Senators that we don’t have to choose. Protect bike and pedestrian funding against this misguided attack.
Senator Paul’s amendment would also change the TIGER program — competitive grants awarded to all kinds of transportation projects — so that projects to make walking or biking safer won’t be eligible. The amendment would also redirect a relatively small amount of funding — 10 percent of the TIGER program — into bridge repair. At the cost of safety for everyone who uses a road, states would gain enough money to repaint a few bridges.
And there would still be no real plan to fix bridges. Here’s what you aren’t being told about bridge repair:
States can already take up to half of their money for bridge repair and spend it on new highway capacity, no matter the condition of their bridges. And states can already spend most of what’s usually the biggest pot of transportation funding on almost anything they want. They could fix bridges, build transit, highways, bridges, sidewalks; it's all eligible, and totally up to the states. No mandates from Washington.
This amendment will be offered on the floor of the Senate tomorrow (Tuesday).
Write or call your Senators and tell them that this proposal will do almost nothing to fix our bridges while making us less safe.
Thank you again for stepping forward to help.
Stephen Lee Davis
Deputy Communications Director
Transportation for America