The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has introduced a draft national transportation bill that would eliminate everything that I care about. It would create a car-centric world, it would eliminate any consideration of or funding for pedestrians and bicyclists, and it would kill the program I work for and love, Safe Routes to School. I believe this is part of the tea party backed effort to get rid of everyone who doesn’t hold their values, and among their values are that car drivers should have all the rights and all the money, and users of other transportation modes (walking, biking, transit, trains) should have none of the rights and none of the money.
In what must surely be intended as irony, the bill is called the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act.” Motor vehicles waste energy, while biking, walking and transit save energy. Bicycling and pedestrian project generate about 11-14 jobs per $1 million spent, while highway projects generate only about 7. About 12% of all trips are by bicycle and walking, yet already these two modes received only 1.5% of funding. This bill would essentially zero this out by allowing states to spend money if they felt like it. They won’t. The states are largely in the business of building new highways, and they have only rarely been in the business of maintaining these highways, and providing for multi-modal transportation.
If you walk, and who doesn’t, if you bike or want to, if you use public transit, now is the time to kill or heavily modify this bill, before it even reaches the House floor.
For more info, see the League of American Bicyclists blog. There are other organizations which focus more on the pedestrian impacts, which are even greater, but it will give you the idea. This bill is bad for everything I care about, and probably you as well.