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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Senate EPW Committee Considers Transportation Bill Today

Senate version of the Transportation Bill MAP-21 eliminates dedicated funding for Bike/Ped projects by combining under CMAQ as "Additional Activities.  Under the provisions of this Bill all funding on Bike/Ped focused activities (see below) will be gone in two to three years.  The House version of the Bill totally eliminates that funding.
. . 1) The Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails programs would be combined into a new “Additional Activities” program within the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program (CMAQ), with less funding available than the current spending level for the three programs combined.
. . 2) In addition, an expanded list of project types are eligible for “Additional Activities”, including NEPA compliance and land acquisition for wetland mitigation.
. . 3) Finally, the bill allows states to opt-out of spending any money on “Additional Activities” when the non-obligated balance exceeds 150% of the annual funding, and to redirect funds to any activities eligible in the broader CMAQ program. In Tennessee this BALANCE typically runs 2 to 5 times the annual allocation.

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