Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 2nd, 2010 at 1:38 pm
Congressman Earl Blumenauer has introduced new legislation that will create a $2 billion competitive grant program for communities to promote eco-friendly transportation options. The bill, which we first reported on back in December, is now known officially as the Active Community Transportation Act of 2010.
In a statement about the ACT Act, Blumenauer said,
“Too often we take for granted the value of being able to bike and walk to work. It’s unfortunate that many communities don’t have the infrastructure in place to make active and healthy forms of transportation more accessible. The ACT transportation grants will make it easier for people to get out of their vehicles and onto sidewalks or bikes, boosting both heart rates and community vitality.”
The announcement comes just one week before the National Bike Summit kicks off in Washington D.C. Blumenauer, who’s already the Chair of a the Livable Communities Task Force, will surely mention this bill in his annual keynote speech at the opening plenary.
This new program would be administered by the US DOT. A fact sheet about the bill says that the program would authorize an average of $400 million per year for the next five years. That amount is less than one half of one percent of the total expected cost of the upcoming authorization of a new transportation bill.
There will be two grant application rounds for the ACT Act. The first will take place 180 days after the passage of the bill. Communities that win grants will receive annual grants ranging from $5 million to $15 million for five years. A second application round will be held two years after the passage of the bill, with qualifying communities receiving grants from $5 million to $15 million for three years.
A letter of support has been signed by a myriad of national organizations and two dozen mayors and other elected officials including Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, Metro President David Bragdon and many others.