Federal transportation bill: National Rural Assembly opposes House bill's elimination of pedestrian safety, transit funding

The Daily Yonder summarizes some of the problems with the House transportation bill, planned for a vote this week--pointing out that both the New York Times and the National Rural Assembly oppose the bill:

The New York Times editorial page and the National Rural Assembly agree that the  transportation bill written by the House is a bad deal. 

The Times describes the bill as "uniquely terrible." It would change the way public transportation is funding, making money much less certain. It would open nearly all of the country's coastal waters to drilling. It would direct almost all spending to roads and bridges, ignoring other forms of transport.

The National Rural Assembly is against the bill because it eliminates all funding for pedestrian safety (and rural America has significant pedestrian fatality rates). It doesn't spend enough on bridges and it guts the "Safe Routes to School program. 

The National Rural Assembly is saying the bill should be killed. 

Obama transportation secretary Ray LaHood (a Republican) says it is the "worst transportation bill" he's seen in 35 years of working in Washington, D.C.

The Daily Yonder also recently posted an article outlining how the House bill would "Gouge Rural Transit." Meanwhile the New York Daily News highlights a letter from the Partnership for New York City that argues that the change in transit funding will "significantly damage the economies of many of our nation's most important commercial centers."

This is clearly a bill that can garner strong opposition from both rural and urban interests.

In a related vein, Transportation for America recently sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee members, urging them to kill the House bill.  The letter was signed by over 600 organizations, including AARP, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Smart Growth America, the National Association of Realtors, the National Urban League Policy Institute, the Center for Rural Strategies, and the League of Rural Voters. Just to make sure that every possible end of the political spectrum is represented, Club for Growth has also launched vigorous opposition to the bill.


When groups with such vastly different points of view are all opposing the bill, you know it's in trouble.  

The House bill is drawing such universal opposition that it is diverting attention from the Senate bill--which also has very severe problems, especially for bicycle and pedestrian funding.

We urge you to take two minutes and contact both of our Missouri Senators:

Join MoBikeFed's Advocacy Network

MoBikeFed is a statewide group of people like you, working together for better bicycling, walking, and trails in Missouri. When you join our advocacy network you receive occasional important advocacy alerts and bicycle, pedestrian, and trails news from around Missouri.

Working together we make a real difference! Join our advocacy network:

Want better bicycling and walking in Missouri?
We rely on the support of members like you.  Please join, renew, or donate today.