Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on June 17th, 2008 at 9:23 am
In an illustration that the political winds on transportation are shifting comes news of two bike-friendly bills that have recently passed through the U.S. House of Representatives.
In an effort to make Amtrak more bike-friendly, last Wednesday (6/11), the House passed H.R. 6003, “The Rail Passenger Improvement and Investment Act.” The bill reauthorizes Amtrak’s funding through 2013 (the the first re-authorization in 11 years).
This bill included an amendment to include funding for bike racks and increased bicycle access into rolling stock (i.e., railcars).
According to staffers at Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s office (he has worked to pass the legislation), the Senate passed a similar bill late last year and they expect this amendment to pass and become part of the bill that lands on the President’s desk.
On June 4, the House passed H.R. 3021, “The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act.” That bill provides grants to state educational agencies for the “green” modernization, renovation, or repair of public school facilities.
Congressman Blumenauer worked to include an amendment on that bill (with Rep. Ron Klein from Florida) to allow the funds to be used to improve bike facilities and to encourage bike and pedestrian access. The bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration.