Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Some Transportation Enhancements Remain in Stimulus Package

from Safe Routes to School

The U.S. House and Senate are expected to vote today or tomorrow on a $789 billion economic stimulus package that provides $27.5 billion to modernize roads and bridges, and includes a 3% set-aside of each state’s share of the $27.5 billion for the Transportation Enhancements program, which is a primarily source of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure funding, which can also be used for Safe Routes to School. At least half of funds must be obligated by states within 120 days and the remainder within one year, or the U.S. Secretary of Transportation can recall unobligated funds.

Also included is $8.4 billion to increase public transportation and improve transit facilities; $8 billion for investment in high-speed rail; and $1.5 billion for a discretionary surface transportation grant program to be awarded competitively by the Secretary of Transportation. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration have issued guidance to assist state and local agencies in preparing for implementation of the stimulus bill. The guidance includes Q&As and actions that can be taken to expedite economic recovery projects.

In other sections of the bill, there are other possible funding sources for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • States will be receiving $53.6 billion in state fiscal stabilization funding. States must use 18.2% of their funding – or $9.7 billion – for public safety and government services. An eligible activity under this section is to provide funding to K-12 schools and institutions of higher education to make repairs, modernize, and renovate to meet green building standards. LEED’s green standards for schools include bicycle and pedestrian facilities and access to the school.
  • $3.1 billion is provided for the Energy Efficiency and Block Grant Program, which provides formula funding to cities, counties, and states to undertake a range of energy efficiency activities. One eligible use of funding is for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • And a total of $1 billion is included for a Prevention and Wellness fund at the US Department of Health and Human Services. However, specific funding for the Healthy Communities program, which provides funding to local communities to pursue community wellness activities address critical problems like obesity, was not included.

See the text of the bill

1 comment:

joshua said...

I want to hike at some point the spring trip sound interesting