Today is a national day of action to oppose the House GOP transportation bill, with Transportation for America, Rails to Trails, Bikes Belong, the Natural Resources Defense Council and many other organizations mobilizing against the extreme attack on transit, biking and walking. They are urging people to contact their representatives and support a sane, sustainable transportation policy by rejecting this radical proposal.
Streetsblog Network members are on the case: Darla at Walk Bike Lee, in Lee County Florida, says the bill unfairly pillages the pittance given to sustainable transportation modes and urges her readers to voice their concerns to Rep. Connie Mack. Yonah Freemark at The Transport Politic says the bill is the pinnacle of bad transportation policy. And Daniel Nairn at Discovering Urbanism writes that is tailored to the interests of oil companies, not your average citizen.
Meanwhile, Deron Lovaas at the NRDC’s Switchboard blog points out that House GOP bill doesn’t even pass the rudimentary test of fiscal discipline. Congressional Budget Office projections show that John Boehner’s plan to plug the transportation funding shortfall with $2 billion in oil drilling revenues only kicks the can down the road:
The bill is larded with extreme measures, including bills passed last week that would annihilate dedicated funding for public transportation (see a report on that here) for the first time in thirty years, slash public oversight required thanks to the 40-year-old National Environmental Policy Act and for the first time ever tie the federal transportation program to speculative drilling revenue.
These bills touted as the panacea for a revenue-starved transportation program don’t prop the program up at all! As Taxpayers for Common Sense has noted this is fiscally reckless. And as they, along with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Reason Foundation and NRDC have noted, it violates the “user pays” funding principle that has underpinned transportation investments for at least the past half-century.
Fiscally reckless. Environmentally damaging. Attacks anyone who rides transit, walks, or bikes by swiping funding for those options. It’s time to kill this bill.