In response to a federal order for states to trim their transportation budgets, the Florida Department of Transportation has disproportionately cut $24.7 million in Transportation Enhancements (TE) funds, along with $3 million from the Recreational Trails Program. TE is our nation’s largest source of funding for trails, walking and bicycling. These funds are highly prized and very limited.
Far from an isolated incident, these recent cutbacks follow a pattern in which walking and bicycling are marginalized and under-prioritized in our state. This comes on the heels of two devastating and disproportionate cuts made in 2009 that totaled more than $60 million. These 2009 cuts alone represented more than a year’s worth of Florida’s total TE allocation.
In Florida, TE represents less than three percent of our total transportation dollars, yet accounts for nearly 22 percent of these recent reductions! Meanwhile, road money and associated contract authority has been mostly protected.
Please take a moment to write to Governor Crist as well as gubernatorial candidates Alex Sink and Rick Scott. We must stop the attacks to our very limited funds.