In August, we sent a link to the Safe Routes to School community to ask questions about federal policy related to walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School and committed to answering them here on the blog. Do you have questions? Submit them here.
Questions are italicized. Answers are bulleted below.
“How does your analysis on Aug 10 jibe with DeFazio’s work?”
- The Safe Routes Partnership blog post on August 10, 2021 details the Senate’s work on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, now known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Representative DeFazio, Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, led the development and passage of the House version of the infrastructure bill, the INVEST Act, which we wrote about on in a blog post on July 7, 2021.
- At this point, the House has agreed to vote on the Senate version of the bill, and Chairman DeFazio is leading his committee to develop a budget for the $60 billion Transportation and Infrastructure has been tasked with developing spending for as part of the budget reconciliation process.
“Is the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) in the new legislation and is it similar to what it has been under the FAST Act? Of course Transportation Alternatives funding is a set-aside of STBG, but will all of the TAP, SRTS, walking, and bicycling project activities continue to be eligible projects for general STBG funding (not just TAP), as they currently are?”
- The Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) is reauthorized as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It is reauthorized at $72 billion over five years.
- Transportation Alternatives remains a set-aside of STBG, but in this bill, Transportation Alternatives is a percentage of STBG: ten percent, putting TA at $7.2 billion over five years. Under the FAST Act. The hope here is that as STBG grows, TA grows as a proportion of this program rather than a fixed amount.
- Walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School remain eligible for general STBG funding as they currently are.
- There are some changes to the Surface Transportation Block Grant not directly related to walking and bicycling. The National Association of Counties has a write-up of those changes here.