Transportation Enhancements, Under Attack

15

Sep

Transportation Enhancements, Under Attack

I’ve received the following alert from numerous sources now:

Senator Coburn (R-OK) is offering two amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill that will strike funding for transportation enhancements. The two amendments are S. Amendment 2370 and S. Amendment 2371.

The Transportation Enhancement program has provided between one-half and three-quarters of all Federal funding invested in bicycling and walking improvements in the last 20 years. More than $250 million is at stake in fiscal year 2010 – if Coburn’s amendment is successful it will affect hundreds of trail projects, sidewalks, bicyclist education programs, bike rack on bus programs, and roadway improvements for bicyclists.

S. Amendment 2370 prohibits funding for transportation enhancements if the Highway Trust Fund does not contain amounts sufficient to cover unfunded highway authorizations.

S. Amendment 2371 allows states to opt out of the 10 percent set aside rule that require states to spend at least 10 percent of their surface transportation funding on transportation enhancements.

We expect the amendments to be offered and voted on during Senate floor debate tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16. Please call your Senator immediately and urge them to vote NO on S. Amendment 2370 and S. Amendment 2371 to the FY10 transportation appropriations bill.

Obviously this would be a huge blow to alternative transportation if either of these are passed.  In these troubled times, when the writing is on the wall that the current infrastructure approach is simply unmaintainable, it is amazing that anyone would put forth ammendments aimed to limit funding sources for sustainble modes of transportion.

Please take some time and make a quick phone call tomorrow!  If you are the type of person who doesn’t know what to say, the League of American Cyclists can help you out.  They provided us with a page that can look up the senator’s phone number AND a list of talking points.  How much easier could it be?

2 thoughts on - Transportation Enhancements, Under Attack

  • Sep 16, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Update from the Alliance for Biking and Walking on how various senators voted:

    Dear All,

    Thanks to all of you who made calls, gave examples of good enhancement’s projects etc. Coburn’s amendment failed but with a 39 / 59 vote did much better than any of us should be comfortable. Below is the Roll Call so you can each see how your Senators voted. We owe some calls of thanks to some key folks..and there are others we clearly need to educate and work with to come better on board.

    Jeff

    Grouped By Vote Position

    YEAs —39
    Alexander (R-TN) Barrasso (R-WY) Bayh (D-IN) Bennett (R-UT) Brownback (R-KS) Bunning (R-KY) Burr (R-NC) Chambliss (R-GA) Coburn (R-OK) Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Crapo (R-ID) DeMint (R-SC) Ensign (R-NV) Enzi (R-WY) Feingold (D-WI) Graham (R-SC) Grassley (R-IA) Gregg (R-NH) Hatch (R-UT) Hutchison (R-TX) Inhofe (R-OK) Isakson (R-GA) Johanns (R-NE) Klobuchar (D-MN) Kyl (R-AZ) LeMieux (R-FL) Lieberman (ID-CT) Lugar (R-IN) McCain (R-AZ) McCaskill (D-MO) McConnell (R-KY) Risch (R-ID) Roberts (R-KS) Sessions (R-AL) Thune (R-SD) Vitter (R-LA) Webb (D-VA) Wicker (R-MS)

    NAYs —59
    Akaka (D-HI) Baucus (D-MT) Begich (D-AK) Bennet (D-CO) Bingaman (D-NM) Bond (R-MO) Boxer (D-CA) Brown (D-OH) Burris (D-IL) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Carper (D-DE) Casey (D-PA) Cochran (R-MS) Collins (R-ME) Conrad (D-ND) Dodd (D-CT) Dorgan (D-ND) Durbin (D-IL) Feinstein (D-CA) Franken (D-MN) Gillibrand (D-NY) Hagan (D-NC) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Johnson (D-SD) Kaufman (D-DE) Kerry (D-MA) Kohl (D-WI) Landrieu (D-LA) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lincoln (D-AR) Menendez (D-NJ) Merkley (D-OR) Mikulski (D-MD) Murkowski (R-AK) Murray (D-WA) Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV) Sanders (I-VT) Schumer (D-NY) Shaheen (D-NH) Shelby (R-AL) Snowe (R-ME) Specter (D-PA) Stabenow (D-MI) Tester (D-MT) Udall (D-CO) Udall (D-NM) Voinovich (R-OH) Warner (D-VA) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)

    Not Voting – 1
    Byrd (D-WV)

  • Barry
    Sep 17, 2009 at 10:17 am

    What is sad about this is how the Republicans have truly been taken over by the right-wing ideology of fossil fuel consumption ("drill baby drill") and for the most part oppose all forms of altrenate transportation. This includes McCain, a leader of the charge to end rail passenger service. The most notable exceptions are the two Republican Senators from Maine who carry on the old New England Republican tradition of interest in conservation, an issue Republicans once led on. The question for those of us who have been Republicans is whether or not to give up on the party.

    Reed and Whitehouse both voted for the enhancement program, the big Democratic disappointment for me is Lieberman. I hope Connecticut bicyclists notice and remember.