Stop Rand Paul’s Senseless Attack on Biking and Walking

The Senate is getting ready to produce a 2014 transportation budget, and national advocates like Transportation for America think it’s a pretty good package. Naturally, some senators are trying to sabotage it.

As Tanya reported last week, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul has proposed an amendment that would transfer funds for biking and walking to bridge repair, where the money would have a negligible impact.

Rand Paul perpetuates the charade that the small amount of federal spending dedicated to walking and biking can make a dent in the nation's bridge repair backlog. Image: Front Page News

People for Bikes is sounding the alarm, asking supporters to contact their senators and tell them to oppose this ill-conceived amendment:

A handful of amendments have been proposed, including one from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) that would pull all funding from an important biking program (Transportation Alternatives) and reallocate it to bridge repair. Previously, Paul had equated this program to supporting “turtle tunnels and squirrel sanctuaries”—not a fair representation of this serious transportation funding.

We agree that bridges are a high-priority investment, but diverting the small amount of money currently devoted to bike projects wouldn’t make a dent in the funding backlog.

Make sure your senators know that you support a transportation bill that continues to allow communities to decide how they want to spend federal transportation money—including on cost-effective, heavily used bike infrastructure projects.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Kaid Benfield at NRDC Switchboard remarks on the tendency to abuse the term Transit-Oriented Development. I Bike TO explains why it’s so important that the justice system hold motorists who injure or kill cyclists accountable. And Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space reports that as DC tries to foster walkable development near transit, some surprising opponents have surfaced, using “smart growth” and “urbanism” as pejoratives.