Well, we knew September was going to be busy…and sure enough we’re seeing the opening moves in a major attack on funding for bike projects and programs.
This evening, the President talks to the nation about jobs and infrastructure, and he’ll likely repeat his plea for Congress to pass a “clean” extension to the Federal transportation program. The House Republican response includes an explicit demand that funding for bicycling and walking infrastructure be stripped out of the program.
Quick bit of background: the current transportation bill that funds highway, transit and bike/pedestrian improvements across the country basically expires at the end of this month. Congress either has to write a new law (highly unlikely) or agree to continue or extend the existing program for a set period until they write a new long-term law for the next five or six years. And, they can either pass a “clean” extension – not changing anything, just continuing what we’ve had since 2005 – or they might try to change a few things along the way.
Senator Coburn (OK) has said he won’t agree to an extension unless funding for bike projects is stripped out. Representatives Boehner and Cantor have basically said the same thing in the House. Yes, folks, they are willing to hold the entire transportation program hostage – infrastructure spending and millions of real jobs – to get rid of bike projects.