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SAFETEA-LU

{attractor float=left}Texas Bicycle Coalition played a pivotal role in the passage of the new Federal Transportation bill. {/attractor}Texas Bicycle Coalition played a pivotal role in the passage of the new Federal Transportation bill.. Working with Texas bicycle dealers and industry leaders, cycling clubs and scores of individual members, Texas Bicycle Coalition succeeded in delivering a powerful message to our Congressional delegates.

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act-Legacy for Users -- a long title for a huge bill that required 11 extensions to finalize. The Federal Transportation bill that was signed by President Bush in August 2005 is a landmark for the cycling community.

Several key programs will receive increased funding, including the Recreational Trails program, Transportation Enhancements program, and the Congestion and Mitigation of Air Quality program. The new bill also launches a $612 million Safe Routes to School program for the entire nation. At a time when funding for many programs is being slashed, our leaders have demonstrated that they recognize the need to improve conditions for bicycling in the US.

Texas Bicycle Coalition and counterpart organizations around the country worked for more than four years to pass this transportation bill. Coalition efforts included more than 20 staff visits to Washington, DC, and countless phone and email conversations with congressional offices.

The 2001 Matthew Brown Act, engineered by Texas Bicycle Coalition, has served as the nucleus for the National Safe Routes to School program. Bicycle education in Texas has paved the way for the rest of the nation.

These efforts have paid off, as Texas is set to receive more than $200 million dollars to improve bicycle facilities around the state. Well over $20 million has been specifically allotted to improve trail facilities in Laredo, Grapevine, Dallas, Austin, and several other Texas communities. Stay tuned to BikeTexas.org for a detailed analysis of how and where this funding will impact your community.

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