Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Good News: FDOT doesn’t take large share of 2011 Federal rescission from bike/ped programs!

Background: In recent years, Congress has enacted annual rescissions of unobligated federal transportation dollars and given states a great deal of flexibility in how to distribute those cuts across transportation programs. Unfortunately, both nationally and in Florida, those cuts have disproportionately come from bike/ed programs. Each year for the past 3 years BikeWalkLee has written the Governor urging him to minimize the impact of these rescissions on bike/ped programs. Click here to read BikeWalkLee’s April 25, 2011 letter to Governor Scott.

National Results: State DOTs implement a rescission of $2.5 billion, with a large share of bike-ped funding sent back to the federal government
This month, FHWA announced the final implementation of the $2.5 billion rescission of federal transportation funds required by Congress during a budget deal last spring. Through rescissions, the federal government recoups money that state DOTs have not yet spent. Each state DOT was notified of its required contribution toward the rescission and given considerable flexibility over which programs' unspent dollars would be returned to the federal government.

America Bikes recently analyzed 2011 rescissions coming from the Transportation Enhancements program, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, and the Recreational Trails program to determine whether state DOTs are disproportionately targeting the dollars in these programs that are intended to help fund biking and pedestrian improvements. (The Safe Routes to School program was not included in this rescission.)

Transportation Enhancements funds account for a less than 3% of total 2011 apportionments in every state. However they account for 11% of these rescissions, overall, and in 9 states (plus the District of Columbia) they account for more than 25% of the rescissions. Several other states left funds in these three programs untouched, finding all the required rescissions from other programs. Click here to see the state tables.

Florida: According to this analysis, Florida DOT took a small portion of the federal rescission from bike/ped programs. In total, 4.3% of the rescission came from these programs (3.4% for TE, which is approximately its “fair share” of total). Last year, FDOT cut over one-third of the funds from these programs as part of the federal rescission, so this is a significant change. Maybe FDOT listened to pleas from advocates such as BikeWalkLee, FBA, and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Or maybe since they had cut the programs so deeply last year, there were few unobligated funds remaining to rescind. Whatever the reason, we say “thank you FDOT”.

Further information about rescissions is available on America Bikes website and in Advocacy Advance's brief document on Understanding Rescissions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

BikeWalkLee is not responsible for the validity of any comment posted at this site and has the right to remove any comment at any time.