A Senate committee approves a bill benefiting cycling infrastructure
WASHINGTON (BRAIN) – The U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works discussed and amended a transportation bill on Wednesday morning that would make it easier to build bike lanes, sidewalks and pathways for local governments.
The 2021 Surface Transportation Reauthorization Law was amended slightly before being approved by the committee, which is responsible for the road and highway section of the bill. In total, the bill would allocate $ 303.5 billion to Department of Transportation programs to support highways, roads and bridges.
It will now be the subject of further consideration in other committees before the Senate.
“This bipartisan bill supports cycling and walking as an integral part of our transportation system and recognizes the need to repair our existing streets while ensuring new streets are built for everyone,” said Caron Whitaker, Deputy Executive Director of the League for American Bicyclists.
If the bill becomes law, it will increase funding for infrastructure that will benefit cyclists and pedestrians, including funding for Transportation Alternatives $ 7.2 billion over five years. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which ended in 2020 before being extended for one year, allocated $ 4.2 billion over five years. The Reauthorization Act also sets aside approximately $ 1.6 billion in funding for the safety of vulnerable road users (cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians). The bill includes further infrastructure improvements and incentives.
The amendment, proposed by the senses. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) And Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.) Wednesday added a grant program to fund communities that build cycling and walking networks. The idea is to provide incentives to build these networks, which would also benefit mobile wheelchair and scooter users.
The Reauthorization Act “makes a vital investment in safe streets for all,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “The bill’s proposed changes to the transportation alternatives program will make it easier for local governments to build bike lanes, sidewalks and pathways, and new wording on the safety of vulnerable road users places a desperately needed focus on reducing fatalities and serious injuries among people. cycling, walking and using wheelchairs. “