Congress to Transportation: 'Maybe Next Time!'

matthew colvinAfter only a handful of hearings in the Senate and House this year focusing on a long term fix for our nation’s surface transportation needs, Congress sent a clear message last week to all those who hoped for long-term action: let’s talk next year! 

Here’s how it all went down:

No Clear Path Forward for Transportation Funding in Congress

Several months ago Matthew Colvinwe wrote about the impending mid-summer bankruptcy facing our nation’s Highway Trust Fund – the primary source of funding for America’s highway and transit programs.

Senate Draft Transportation Bill Includes Key Improvements for Safe Routes to School

Matthew ColvinToday, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee released their draft bill reauthorizing MAP-21, which would fund our nation’s surface transportation programs for an additional six years.   Before the bill can come to the Senate floor for a vote, however, the Senate Finance Committee must complete the daunting task of shoring up the funding for our soon-to-be bankrupt Highway Trust Fund. 

Administration Sends Transportation Bill to Congress

Matthew Colvin As we have discussed in previous posts, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the Highway Trust Fund will go bankrupt as early as mid-summer, while the current transportation bill, MAP-21, will expire shortly after in September.

USDOT Sidesteps Safety as Congress Focuses in on Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure

Matthew ColvinThere were two significant developments this month in Washington D.C for Safe Routes to School.  First, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released its proposed rule addressing safety on our roads.

Take Two Minutes to Stand Up for the Safety of Our Children

Margo PedrosoAll of us are working hard to make our neighborhoods safer for kids and families to walk to and from school. But now, we need your help to ensure that the health and safety of our loved ones does not take a back seat to automobile passengers, simply because they chose active transportation over driving.

MAP-21 Reauthorization Kicks into High Gear…Maybe

Matthew ColvinThe deadline to prevent the Highway Trust Fund from becoming insolvent is rapidly approaching, leaving Congress and the Administration with just months to identify a solution.  But will they be up to the task?  The stakes for Congress couldn’t be higher, with a failure to act putting hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk and bringing thousands of construction projects, including Safe Routes to School projects, a

Speak Up for Safe Streets for All

Margo PedrosoAround the country, more than 600 communities and states have adopted local Complete Streets policies—helping ensure that transportation plans and projects address the needs of all users.

Ask Your Representative to Support Bike/Ped Financing Bill

Margo PedrosoOne of the biggest challenges to making communities more walkable and bikeable is that there’s often only enough funding to build one stretch of pathways or sidewalks at a time—meaning that there aren’t complete networks from homes to schools, workplaces or other destinations.

Federal Transportation Policy Off to a Fast Start in 2014

Margo PedrosoWhile we are only three weeks into 2014, there have already been several signs that transportation will be on the front burner this year with Congress and the federal government.

New Transportation Bill Ahead in 2014

Margo PedrosoWhile it seems that the MAP-21 transportation law passed fairly recently, Congress only passed a two-year bill and MAP-21 expires in September 2014. Congress is starting to hold hearings on the transportation law and to consider how to fund the next bill.

Reading the Tea Leaves for the Next Transportation Bill

Margo PedrosoIn my last post, I talked about the government shutdown and how the fighting over funding could be a bad sign for the next surface transportation bill, given the $15 billion per year funding shortfall.

What the Federal Government Shutdown Means for the Next Transportation Bill

Margo PedrosoAfter Congress and the President were unable to agree on a deal to continue funding for federal agencies and programs through the annual appropriations process, the federal government was shut down and non-essential employees were sent home. The shutdown is now in its second week, and there is no sign of progress towards a resolution.

Help Shape the USDOT Strategic Plan

Margo PedrosoLast week, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) released their draft strategic plan for FY2014-2018. This plan will drive the USDOT’s internal workplan, so it’s important to make sure Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking is well-represented.

Congratulations to Memphis, TN For Passing the Nation's 500th Complete Streets Policy

Christy SmithThis August, Memphis, Tennessee was honored by the National Complete Streets Coalition for adopting the Nation's 500th Complete Streets Policy. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership's Tennessee Network sent a letter to Mayor Wharton of Memphis, congratulating him on the honor and for leading the efforts for Complete Streets in Memphis.

Fending Off Potential Congressional Threats to Safe Routes Funding

Margo PedrosoThis week, both the House and Senate are considering their transportation appropriations (or funding) bills. Because most transportation funding is locked in through MAP-21, we don’t have to fight for funding every year like most programs. (See more on timing updates below)

Increasing Access to Play

Maggie CooperIn honor of July being Parks and Recreation month, I decided to focus on how we, as Safe Routes to School advocates, can ensure that all children have the ability to be active outside all year round. Just like walking and bicycling to school, access to parks and recreation can directly impact the overall quality of life for children.

Assessing State Progress on Transportation Alternatives

Margo PedrosoIt’s hard to believe that it has been more than a year since Congress passed the transportation bill, MAP-21, which consolidated Safe Routes to School into the Transportation Alternatives program (TAP).

Pages