Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 1st, 2012 at 10:28 am
Routes to School event in his district in
October 2010. A bill drafted by Mica would
end the program.
(Photo: Safe Routes Partnership)
The draft federal transportation bill that was unveiled yesterday by Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee John Mica (R-FL) would eliminate the national Safe Routes to School program.
Since it was enshrined in law by Congress in 2005, the Safe Routes program has funded hundreds of millions of dollars for crosswalk, bike parking, education, and much more to schools throughout the country.
Under the guise of “consolidation” and “streamlining,” Mica’s bill does away with the program entirely and strips mandates that require all state DOTs to have a dedicated staff person in charge of coordinating Safe Routes projects. It also, “Eliminates requirements for states to spend highway funding on non-highway activities.” Of course the bill also “permits states to fund those activities if they so choose,” however most national advocacy groups feel that, given the lack of a mandate, most states wouldn’t so choose.
event in Volusia County. The poster behind him reads,
“Making Safe Routes to School.”
I know it was covered over the summer when Mica threatened to introduce a bill like this, but now that the bill has arrived, it’s worth revisiting that he was publicly supportive of Safe Routes in his own district as recently as October 2010.
On October 22nd, 2010 Rep. Mica visited Westside Elementary in Daytona Beach, Florida for an event to “encourage more children to safely walk and bicycle to and from school.” The school had just been awarded a “Walking School Bus” grant through the Safe Routes to School program.
Now Rep. Mica has proposed a transportation bill that would do away with that program. It makes you wonder who Rep. Mica is answering to with his bill proposal. Stay tuned for more coverage of the transportation bill. See the latest action alert at BikeLeague.org.