PeopleForBikes said a new bill has been released by the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that would significantly increase federal funding for bikes. For the last five years, PeopleForBikes’ member businesses have traveled regularly to Capitol Hill to convey the story of bikes as a low-cost, energy-efficient and convenient transportation option.
“We’ve successfully asked our federal lawmakers to dedicate robust funding levels to build expanded and connected bike networks,” said PeopleForBikes COO Jenn Dice. “Cities and communities that create better bike infrastructure have realized economic gains in tourism, retail sales and new business development. The Invest In America Act would help cities and states give everyone more options to get where they need to go quickly and safely by building more and better bike infrastructure.”
The bill offers meaningful investments that would enhance and expand bike and mobility networks, leverage bikes as part of a solution to climate change and focus on bicycle and road safety through dedicated funding and research. Significant provisions include:
- $83 billion in 2021 for stimulus funding that would remove traditional cost-sharing match burdens on local communities when advancing projects and preserving jobs in the wake of COVID-19. A 100 percent federal grant means that cities and states can quickly invest in and prioritize projects like temporary street closures and pop-up bike lanes as well as more permanent bike facility construction;
- 60 percent increase in the Transportation Alternatives Program, the largest federal funding source for bike infrastructure. This will help construct and maintain protected bike lanes, road safety features, trails, and more. It would also reduce the red tape that stops, or slows, infrastructure projects created by local planning agencies;
- $250 million for the Active Transportation Connectivity Grant Program, which would fund regionally connected mobility networks. The inclusion of this new program is a policy win, and the organization is hopeful the final bill will include additional funding throughout the five-year authorization;
- Safer streets: States would be required to create a vulnerable road user safety assessment which would inform why certain areas are more dangerous for a bike rider, focus investment in places with higher levels of injuries and fatalities and make roads safer for cyclists; and
- $250 million for a Community Climate Innovation Grant Program which includes funding for bike projects as a part of climate change solutions. Safe, connected bike infrastructure would offer low-cost and equitable transportation options for more people, and a solution for communities looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As Congress develops a final bill to fund the nation’s transportation projects, PeopleForBikes said it would continue to work with industry leaders, congressional allies and partners to ensure a bipartisan bill that funds the development of complete bike networks and improves mobility, equity and health for everyone.
PeopleForBikes thanked the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the League of American Bicyclists, the Safe Routes Partnership, North American Bikeshare Association, and Bicycle Infrastructure Coalition for its help in advancing the bill.