PeopleForBikes has reported that a U.S. Senate committee passed America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA, S. 2302) to reauthorize funding for federal transportation policy and support projects including bike paths, multi-use trails, bike parks and safety incentives this week.
PeopleForBikes Coalition explained,
ATIA would allow states to more easily move forward with projects that make biking better, safer and more accessible for all riders. The current authorization of the federal transportation policy is set to expire at the end of September 2020.
While this process remains in its early stages, we’re excited about the direction of this bill and the promise it holds for increased federal funding for bikes. Some details of the bill that we support include:
• More money for bike paths: The bill would increase funding for bike infrastructure (bike lanes, paths, trails, bridges, etc.) – from $850 million to $1.2 billion in the first year and give more local control to planners to make the best decisions for their communities’ needs.
• Better data for trail funding: The bill would authorize a study to better assess funding for recreational trails. Currently slated at $85 million per year, the recreational trails program investment could double or triple. This would help build and maintain more trails, trailheads and bike parks.
• Incentives for safer roads: Better biking requires safer roads. States and localities would get an additional $500 million to improve road safety for all users and more grants would be available for those that can measure and show the success of new safety measures.
• Bike projects eligible for climate change funds: For the first time, this bill includes money for climate change and incorporates bikes into the solution. It offers $600 million to states and localities to pay for low-carbon transit options, including biking and walking.
Going forward, other committees in Congress will have to draft their versions of this bill and all proposals will have to be shaped into one acceptable document and funding for all federal transportation programs will remain a challenge.
Learn more about the Bill at PeopleforBikes.org.