Transportation Debate Awaits Congress Next
According to a post at ASLA'sThe Dirt, "Congress passed the last omnibus transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, in 2005 and has kicked the can down the proverbial street by merely extending the measure multiple times since its first expiration in 2009." The result, claims the author, is a loss of economic competitiveness in the movement of services and goods, a lack of alternatives to car trips (even for daily tasks, like going to the grocery store), and an infrastructure that is crumbling.
The author briefly summarizes the two opposing transportation bills to be debated when Congress returns from its August break. One bill was written by Republican House Member, John Mica; the other bill was authored by Senate Democrat Barbara Boxer.
The author notes that the fate of the Transportation Enhancements program, which provides dedicated funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects, is in jeopardy in both bills. Meanwhile, according to the post, "the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently surveyed its members about transportation infrastructure priorities, revealing that 75 percent of the polled mayors would support an increase in the gas tax if a greater share of the funding were invested in bicycle and pedestrian projects."