Help Bicycle Projects Get Economic Recovery Funding

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has now been passed by Congress and signed into law. The law provides $789 billion in spending and tax cuts to stimulate the economy, including highway funding and transportation enhancements. A total of $26.8 billion of the highway funding is distributed to states based on surface transportation program formulas which take into account population, miles of highway, and other factors.

States must spend three percent of their allocation on the Transportation Enhancements program, which is a primary source of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure funding. The remainder of the “highway” money also creates an opportunity to build complete streets. All of the highway funding is flexible and bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible. The three percent in Transportation Enhancements is a floor and not a ceiling.

The catch is that the feds gave states a time limit. States must identify which projects they want to fund, and to obligate the funding to those projects. If states do not do so, they will have to give back the money.

On Monday, March 2nd, 2009 America Bikes sent each of the Governors a letter requesting they obligate their transportation enhancement funding in a timely manner. Now it’s your turn. Call or write your Governor now to ensure that important bicycle and pedestrian projects get built, and the funding is not wasted. The League of American Bicyclists has created a handy web-form that you can use to tell your Governor to build bicycle and pedestrian facilities with economic recovery funding. Do it now!


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