America Walks Comments on DRIVE Act
On June 24th, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) considered a six-year transportation bill, called the DRIVE Act. This is one step along the way towards a new transportation bill. America Walks offers the following comments on the bill and urges our advocates to add their voices to the call for greater protections for a walkable America.
The DRIVE Act does sustain the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which provides funding for communities to compete project such as sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, and other local transportation priorities. The bill also shifts more of the decision-making to the local level. We are grateful to Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Cochran (R-MS) for leading the effort on these provisions that will strengthen TAP.
However, given the name of the bill, you won’t be surprised that the DRIVE Act needs some work to ensure that it full creates safe and accessible networks for people to walk and bike America Walks is pushing for specific amendments to do this.
Those amendments include:
- Increasing funding for TAP and to make sure the funding level can increase each year (Sen. Cardin amendment).
- Ensuring that states cannot take away TAP “local control” funds—which could undermine local decision-making and planning about how to use TAP funds (Sen. Cardin amendment).
- Including the Safe and Complete Streets Act in the bill to improve transportation planning for all users—including people walking and bicycling (Senator Markey’s amendment).
- Providing funding for Vision Zero policies, plans and implementation that will make safety of our transportation system the top priority (Senator Gillibrand’s amendment).
- Creating a national transportation goal of creating a multi-modal system that connects people with economic opportunities (Senator Merkley’s amendment).
- Allowing the transportation funding in the bill to increase if Congress finds more revenue for transportation in the coming months (Senator Cardin’s amendment).
By showing support for these amendments, we will help increase the chances of getting these changes into the DRIVE Act in the coming months as Congress works on the new transportation bill. Please visit here to learn how to give your voice to this important legislation.