transportation is all about
big pipes and ugly freeway
Once again, national advocacy groups are prepping the cannons for an all out assault on Congress as word spreads that the U.S. House of Representatives is will unveil a new surface transportation bill — dubbed the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act — today.
What do national advocacy groups and other advocates think about it?
“This Is Not a Drill: Highway Lobby Trying to Push Transpo Bill Thru Congress,” reads a headline from Streetsblog DC.
“We expected the bill to be bad news for bicycling and walking, but we didn’t think it would go so far as to reverse all progress we have made in the past twenty years.”
— Deb Hubsmith, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
“It’s so much worse than we thought,” reads an email from the leader of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, “We expected the bill to be bad news for bicycling and walking, but we didn’t think it would go so far as to reverse all progress we have made in the past twenty years.”
And the League of American Bicyclists says, “This is as urgent as it gets. Even if we do win this amendment, there will be a long road ahead. But if we lose here, we risk losing decades of progress.”
The House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, led by Florida Republican John Mica, is slated to unveil their bill at a noon press conference today. An email from their office says the bill will (my translation in parentheses), “reform and streamline transportation programs,” (eliminate ones that aren’t auto and freeway-centric), “cut red tape in the project approval process” (do away with pesky environmental reviews), and “increase states’ flexibility to fund their most critical needs” (stop spending money on biking and walking).
The bill is also going to include provisions that make it easier to drill for oil on U.S. soil, or as Rep. Mica puts it, “remove barriers to domestic energy production.”
Fortunately there’s an expectation that an amendment will be put forward by House T & I committee member Tom Petri (R-WI).