Kate Hinds covers transportation for WNYC News.
Effort to Preserve Bike/Pedestrian Funding Fails In House
Thursday, February 02, 2012 - 11:55 AM
A House committee defeated an attempt to mandate federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure Thursday morning.
As TN reported earlier this week, the House wants to eliminate so-called transportation “enhancements” that require states to spend up to 10% of surface transportation money on non-highway projects like bike paths or beautification projects.
At least two congressmen tried to insert an amendment that would restore that dedicated funding, and bicycle, pedestrian and environmental groups hastily mounted an effort to support it. But those efforts failed, according to reports. "Petri Amendment goes down by two votes, 29-27," tweeted T4America. A staffer for Congressman Petri (R-WI) said three Republicans voted for it.
(UPDATE) According to the staffer, funding for the Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School Activities program would not have come from new funds. The states would have been directed to find funding from any of the other programs funded by the overall transportation bill. For the country as a whole, this translates to about $1 billion out of the $260 billion bill.
The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is marking up its part of the 842-page, five-year, $260 billion surface transportation bill. Earlier Thursday morning, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Politico it was "the worst transportation bill” he’s seen in decades.