Wednesday, December 14, 2011

U.S. Senate Commerce Committee passed important T4-America policies in its portion of transportation reauthorization bill

BikeWalkLee is a Transportation 4 America partner and is pleased to see the Senate Committee support for T4-A-supported national goals and performance measure to promote a more accountable, cleaner, and multi-modal transportation system. In addition, an amendment to provide safer streets for all motorized and no-motorized users [complete streets by another name] was adopted with bipartisan support, including both Senators Nelson and Rubio of Florida. We were one of the Florida organizations that signed T4-A individual letters to our two FL Senators and contacted their staffs. Thanks to everyone who spoke out in support of these amendments.

Transportation for America responds to Senate Commerce Committee actions on transportation authorization
December 14, 2011 By Transportation for America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate Commerce Committee today adopted two key policy measures for the upcoming authorization of the federal transportation program. The “Surface Transportation and Freight Policy Act of 2011” establishes policy goals for the federal surface transportation program, such as addressing congestion, improving access to multiple travel options, supporting domestic manufacturing and reducing impacts on the environment and public health. It also directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a national surface transportation and freight strategic plan and establishes a multi modal grant program for alleviating bottlenecks in the freight system. An amendment offered by Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska), and modified by Senator Thune (R-SD), directs the DOT Secretary to “establish standards to ensure that the design of Federal surface transportation projects provides for the safe and adequate accommodation … of all users of the transportation network, including motorized and non-motorized users.” Transportation for America’s director, James Corless, offered this statement in response:

“The Commerce Committee’s measures offer critical policy direction at a time when our key national infrastructure program is in urgent need of renewed focus and reinvigoration.
Establishing national goals and performance-based objectives for our investment in transportation would be a vast improvement over our current system, improving accountability and transparency of federal transportation spending. The Surface Transportation and Freight Policy Act would go a long way toward ensuring that we get the most bang for the buck from our increasingly constrained transportation dollars. At a time when pedestrian fatalities and injuries are rising as other traffic fatalities fall, the Begich amendment would help to improve safety for everyone on our roads and save money. With support from the full Senate and incorporation into the House’s companion bill, these measures would establish safety, fairness and efficiency as the hallmarks of the next authorization.”

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