US Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Vote Anti-bike
By Matt Pacocha
Today, Thursday, 2 February 2012, the US House of Representatives’ transportation and infrastructure committee voted no — by two votes — on the Petri-Johnson-Lipinski amendment to the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act that would have saved funding for biking and walking, including the acclaimed Safe Routes to School program.
Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI), and Timothy Johnson (R-IL) sought to defend bike and walking funding with an amendment to the proposed transportation bill; Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) co-sponsored the pro-biking amendment. The vote was ultimately, mostly, split along partisan lines, with Democrats voting for the amendment and Republicans against.
Representative Frank LoBiondo from New Jersey was the only non-sponsoring Republican to vote ‘yes’ on the amendment.
Without the amendment, the bill eliminates all benefits to bikes and pedestrians previously afforded by the Department of Transportation. Many biking and walking programs are served under the Transportation Enhancement Act, which makes up less than 1 percent of all federal transportation funding. The new Bill makes Transportation Enhancements optional, rather than required.
The proposed amendment was set to save funding for the two most important programs: Safe Routes to School and the Transportation Enhancement Act.
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