Nov. 4, 2010 11:35 a.m. |(10) Comments
Following the sweeping changes in political leadership at the state and federal levels, cycling advocates are assessing how to shift their strategies to maintain funding for bike lanes, education and other improvements.
The conventional wisdom suggests the Republican take-over of both the Assembly and Senate in Wisconsin, based largely on a campaign of cost-cutting and lower taxes, will threaten to stop the flow of money to bike improvements.
On the federal level, the loss of James Oberstar (D-Minnesota) as a leader in Congress may hamper efforts to keep dollars passing to states through the Transportation Enhancements and Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Program.
Wisconsin receives nearly $9 million in federal cash each year from those appropriations, and adds another $2.5 million in state dollars approved in the 2009-’11 budget. In recent weeks, the DOT awarded more than $30 million in grants to local bike and pedestrian projects.
The recently completed bridge on the Hank Aaron State Trail is an example of a project
funded by federal dollars.
Local blogger Dave Schlabowske speculated on how the mid-term elections may impact that funding.
“… But the new Speaker of the House could be Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) who has opposed using federal transportation funds on bicycle projects, which he likens to “beautification” projects, not transportation projects. The next transportation bill could look very different from the last one in which bicycle and pedestrian funding was increased.”
Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, said Oberstar’s defeat in Minnesota is the toughest blow to cycling advocates.
… “And I’m sad because he is a true champion of bicyclists’ issues in Congress. Over the past 20 years, you can trace many of the gains we’ve made straight back to the desk of Jim Oberstar. Broad eligibility for transportation funds, the Safe Routes to School Program, state bicycle coordinator positions, the requirement to plan for bicyclists at the state and regional level, the non-motorized pilot projects all started with him. So, whichever way you spin it, bicyclists and the bicycling movement have lost a friend in Congress.”
At the state level, it’s likely advocates will have to pedal harder to convince Governor-elect Scott Walker and the Republican leadership to keep spending millions on bike paths and lanes and to follow through on the Complete Streets legislation approved in the last budget. That law requires accommodations for bicycles
To read the whole story, visit here: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/106697973.html
MOST POPULARAG2R La Mondiale Alberto Contador Amgen Tour of California Andy Schleck BMX Bradley Wiggins Cadel Evans Cervélo Chris Froome Cyclo-cross Doping Euskaltel-Euskadi Fabian Cancellara Garmin Giro d'Italia HTC Lance Armstrong Levi Leipheimer Liquigas Lotto Mark Cavendish Mountain Biking Movistar Olympics Omega Pharma Paris-Roubaix Pat McQuaid Peter Sagan Philippe Gilbert QuickStep Rabobank RadioShack Road Cycling Ryder Hesjedal Saxo Bank Taylor Phinney Team Sky Tom Boonen Tour de France Track Cycling Trek Tyler Farrar UCI Vincenzo Nibali WorldTour
- Kenny Butler’s Leadville bike equipped for his prosthetic
- Jim Penseyres Ride to Recovery Rider at the Leadville Trail 100
- Rodgers on Stage 20
- Sean Yates on Sky’s success at the 2012 TdF
- Wiggins jumps on team car after winning the 2012 Tour De France
- Cadel Evans on his 2012 Tour de France
- Dave Brailsford on Cav after Stage 18
- Wilfried Peeters on Quick Steps 2012 Tour De France
- Rusch after the Rush: Silver Rush 50 was really heads up
- Roche on Stage 17 and his own GC standing