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News / Blog Advocacy News
Advocacy News

FAST Act is Now Law

Lunes 07 de Diciembre de 2015 14:26

After many delays, short-term extensions, and plenty of disagreement, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was passed by Congress and signed by the president last week. The FAST Act is the first long-term transportation bill passed in a decade.

lege intern ride biketexas

What's the news for people who walk or ride bikes? From our friends at the League of American Bicyclists:

Transportation Alternatives Program

This program is the most prominent funding source for biking and walking infrastructure projects. The FAST bill makes some policy changes:

The Good:

Nonprofit organizations are now eligible to apply for funds. This makes it easier for nonprofits to do safety and education for Safe Routes to School programs. It also means that nonprofits who run bike share programs can apply directly.
Funding increases from $820 million to $835 million in 2016 and 2017 and to $850 million in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
The program maintains its competitive nature.

The Bad:

Metropolitan areas that get their own funding can use half of it for roads and bridges. However, that funding would still have to go through a competitive process.

Change in Name

The funding program is no longer a stand-alone program. It is no longer the Transportation Alternatives program; it is now a set-aside in the larger Surface Transportation Block Grant Program. We’ll have to find a better way to reference it.

New Bicycle and Pedestrian education program

The FAST Act creates a priority safety fund to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. The program will focus on:

education of law enforcement;
education of motorists, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians; and
implementation of enforcement campaigns.
Only states in which 15% or more of overall fatalities are bicyclists or pedestrians will receive funds. Last year Congress passed a directive to require states and metropolitan areas to set goals for reducing bicyclist and pedestrian crashes and fatalities. This new program will help states fund that work.

Complete Streets

The FAST Act directs the US DOT to encourage states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations to set design standards to accommodate all road users. It also requires the US DOT to produce a report on implementation and best practices in two years.

Design Guidelines

The bill also broadens the guidelines state can use when designing roads, and gives local jurisdictions the right to choose different guides from the state in certain circumstances. This allows local governments, who often want to be more progressive, the opportunity to do so.

Many thanks to the League and others who were on the scene in D.C. to put the pressure on Congress to include active transportation in this bill and to send out alerts when it looked like things might be going badly. And a special thanks to YOU for responding quickly to our Action Alerts and contacting your representatives. You made a difference on this bill!

We'll continue to monitor what comes next once the money for bike/ped projects opens up. We've spent the last couple of years asking TxDOT to make better choices for TAP funding instead of transferring funds away from active transportation uses, and we'll continue to be there to encourage them to follow through on education, accommodation, and design to make Texas a great place to ride a bike.

 

District Office Visits May Be Needed as U.S. Transportation Bill Goes to Conference

Miércoles 11 de Noviembre de 2015 10:30

Action-Alert-Photo

You did it! Thank you for calling and emailing your U.S. Representatives in response to the Action Alert last week. The anti-bike and anti-active-transportation amendments were defeated, and the House transportation bill passed on Thursday. 

We're not done yet! Now, the transportation bills from the House and the Senate go to conference where the two chambers work out the differences between the bills. The Senate bill is stronger than the House bill at this point for people who walk or ride bikes. Keep an eye out for more action on these bills over the next couple of weeks. 

Three Texas Representatives are on the conference committee: Brian Babin (R-36, Woodville), Blake Farenthold (R-27, Corpus Christi), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30, Dallas). Do you live or work in one of these districts? We may need constituents to make district office visits. Let us know if you can stop by your representative's office this week.

Not sure who your representative is? Find out here.

Thank you for making Texas-- and the nation!-- a great place to ride a bike.

   

U.S. House Passes Transportation Bill With Bike/Ped Funding

Action-Alert-Photo

You did it! Thank you for calling and emailing your U.S. Representatives in response to the Action Alert earlier this week. The anti-bike and anti-active-transportation amendments were defeated, and the House transportation bill passed on Thursday. 

We're not done yet! Now, the transportation bills from the House and the Senate go to conference where the two chambers work out the differences between the bills. The Senate bill is stronger than the House bill at this point for people who walk or ride bikes. Three Texas representatives are on the conference committee: Brian Babin (R-36), Blake Farenthold (R-27), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30). Keep an eye out for more action on these bills over the next couple of weeks.

A huge thanks to our friends at the League of American Bicyclists for working so hard on Capitol Hill to keep members of Congress thinking about active transportation and to keep the rest of us informed! Read more about the House action this week on the League's blog.

   

Vote Texas 2015: Proposition 7

Miércoles 21 de Octubre de 2015 11:50

texas capitolEarly voting has begun in Texas, and among the many propositions for Texas voters is Proposition 7, which will allocate more funding to TxDOT if passed. 
 
Proposition 7 reads, "The constitutional amendment dedicating certain sales and use tax revenue and motor vehicle sales, use, and rental tax revenue to the state highway fund to provide funding for nontolled roads and the reduction of certain transportation-related debt." Learn more about Proposition 7 here.
 
This proposition provides no specific funding for active transportation infrastructure; however, we see no language in the measure that would prevent TxDOT from following its own guidance for considering all road users in a project. Therefore, BikeTexas is neutral on Proposition 7.
 
As ever, BikeTexas strongly encourages all Texans to exercise their right to vote and have your say in Texas' future. Find out where to vote, what else is on your ballot, and more at votetexas.gov.
   

Get Electricity, Support Bicycle Advocacy with Reliant Energy

reliant ecoshare earthshare program biketexasSupport bicycle advocacy in Texas with Reliant Energy's EcoShare Program!

BikeTexas is a nonprofit partner of Earthshare, who works with Reliant Energy to support nonprofits across Texas every time a Texas customer purchases a carbon offset. BikeTexas receives a portion of those donations. Learn more about the carbon offset program and sign up here!

BikeTexas is proud to partner with organizations who are making a difference across Texas. Thank you for supporting EarthShare of Texas!

 

 

 

   

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