2004 progress and prospects for federal transportation bill from America Bikes

AmericaBikes sent the following update on the situation for federal transportation funding (TEA-21, SAFETEA, TEA-LU):
As Washington winds down we wanted to give you an end-of-year update onAmerica Bikes and TEA-21 reauthorization. But firstly, a big ‘thanks’ for your continuing support of the campaign.

It’s certainly been a year of ups and downs. We are still waiting for Congress to pass TEA-3 but there are clear signs that our decision makers are increasingly sympathetic to the America Bikes Agenda. The Senate’s SAFETEA bill of the summer (S1072) included a commitment to ‘Fair Share for Safety’ for the first time, guaranteeing safety funding for bicyclists & pedestrians proportionate to their involvement in accidents ­ a major step forward in securing a safer cycling environment. Both SAFETEA and the House bill (TEA-LU HR3550) include provisions for ‘Safe Routes to School’, securing funding of up to $100,000,000. As well as this new stuff both bills mention recreational trails, planning and other issues that can help make America more bicycle friendly. Additionally, September’s extension increased the pot of money available for bike and pedestrian issues.

SAFETY and TEA-LU provide a good starting point for the 109th Congress when it begins it’s work on TEA-21 renewal early in the new year. The schedule for renewal is driven by the May 31, 2005 deadline set in the last extension law so we are expecting Congress to start on this bill straight way. America Bikes will step up a gear in the new year to ensure that bicyclists continue to influence the nation’s transportation planning.

The successes we have achieved would not have been possible without the support you have provided, whether you have lobbied local officials, donated to America Bikes or made a statement simply but riding your bicycle. Please keep it up as our campaign enters the home straight!

Wishing you a happy holiday.

The America Bikes team
The Missouri Bicycle Federation wishes to thank the many Missouri bicyclists who have taken time to contact their elected representatives to speak up for better funding and better accommodation for bicyclists.

The Missouri Bicycle Federation is working to add 500 new members in 2005. Will you be one of them?