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Washington Watch: TIFIA Bill for Bike/Ped Investment 2014

Posted by: Noah Grunzweig @ Feb. 4, 2014, 3:23 p.m.

New Bill would improve funding for Bike/Pedestrian projects through TIFIA

TIFIA Bill to provide better funding for bike and pedestrian infrastructure

1% dedication might not sound like much, but it would mean millions of dollars for Bike and Pedestrian projects all across the United States.

The middle class promises to mash any opposition.

That's a lie.  The middle class isn't mashing anything, which is why you should write your Congressman.

by Noah Grunzweig

Shortly after President Obama’s State of the Union address, New Jersey Democrat, Albio Sires introduced a bill backed by Miami, FL Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen which would Allocate 1% of funding from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) specifically for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects.

This bill, its backers say, brings the United States towards meeting the President’s goal of improving the lives and opportunities for struggling Americans.  This goal is, of course, always championed by all of our Congressmen and Representatives of the House on either side of the isle, all the time.  The only time smarter funding for public transportation, bicycle, and pedestrian projects has ever been neglected is when there is more pressing matters like – The Seattle Seahawks Won the Superbowl!!!

Alas. What was I saying?

Oh, the 1% funding set aside by this proposed bill would provide low interest loans to communities for street safety development projects and reserve 25% of funding for low-income communities.  This is greats because low-income Americans are a growing percentage of Americans who are taking to bicycles as a means of mobility for work and leisure.  Adding bike lanes in areas of need will improve health outcomes, individual mobility, and expand access to economic opportunities for Americans who have needed need safe transportation routes to and from economic opportunities (aka jobs).

Sen. Sires and his republican colleagues Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen have all  talked about the need to invest in alternative, simpler transportation, so more Americans don’t have to die on bikes while pursuing opportunity.  The Seirra Club and The League Of American Bicyclists put out a report, cited by Sen. Sires in his press release, on the growing demographics of American cyclists and their needs.

TIFIA is beloved as an investment for all of America, but the lowest economic class of Americans often gets left out.  This bill aims at supporting the bottom economic rung on America.

As the bottom rises up, so do we all.

If you think this is a good idea, write your Congressman and Representative in the House, and show your support and appreciation for this bi-partisan improvement to transportation and Infrastructure funding.

Sources:
http://dc.streetsblog.org/2014/01/30/new-bill-would-make-bikeped-projects-eligible-for-tifia-loans/
http://usa.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/New-Opportunities-for-Bicycle-and-Pedestrian-Infrastructure-Financing-Act.pdf
http://www.bikeleague.org/sites/lab.huang.radicaldesigns.org/files/equity_report.pdf

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