Inaccurate email message circulating regarding Railtrails and Missouri Senator Bond

An inaccurate email message has been making the rounds of email lists in Missouri. The message states that Missouri Senator Kit Bond has introduced an amendment to the TEA-21 reauthorization bill that would be a "poison pill" for the rails-to-trails movement.

There is a kernel of truth in the message, but most of the statements about Senator Bond's role in the section dealing with railtrails were false.

The Missouri Bicycle Federation has been in contact with Senator Bond's office and has apologized for the part it played in spreading the inaccurate information.

The Facts
There was some truth mixed in with falsehood in the original message, so here are the facts of the matter:

Facts:
  • There IS a Section 1617 which would have a devastating effect on rail-trails if adopted. However, this section was proposed by the Bush Administration as part of their SAFETEA proposal. It was NOT proposed by Senator Kit Bond.

  • You can find detailed and accurate information about Section 1617, from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, on our Advocacy Alerts page.

  • Senator Bond has not proposed any amendments to the TEA-21 reauthorization.

  • The Bush administration's SAFETEA bill, which does have the "rail-trail poison pill" Section 1617, is NOT the same as the current Senate bill which Senator Bond is working on.

  • According to Sen. Bond's office, he "is participating in ongoing negotiations with the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee members/staff to craft a bipartisan bill based on consensus."

  • Senator Bond is a member of the Senate EPW Committee is Chairman of a subcommittee of EPW, the subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. As such, he certainly is playing a key role in developing the TEA-21 reauthorization.
Please click the "comment on this message" button (below) to see the response to the inaccurate email from Trevor L. Blackann of Senator Bond's office.