Bill Provides $500 million for Nationwide Network of Safe Walking and Biking Routes
January 30, 2020
Washington, D.C.- This week, Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02), alongside Representatives Chris Pappas (NH-01) and Dan Lipinski (IL-03) introduced the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act. The legislation provides $500 million in funding for a federal competitive grant program to build connected active-transportation routes including trails, sidewalks, and bikeways that support the health and economic growth of our communities. This is Rep. Huffman’s second piece of legislation in 2020 to improve the nation’s active transportation infrastructure; earlier this year, he introduced the Active Transportation for Public Lands Act, which would address the need for safe bicycling and walking paths on federal public lands.
The House of Representatives is currently working on the reauthorization of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST), as part of House Democrats’ Moving Forward infrastructure framework. If included in this package, the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act will help provide the necessary resources and policy changes to deliver a 21st century transportation system to the nation. This transformative approach to funding active transportation would meet growing demands from rural, suburban and urban communities across America for convenient, accessible, well-maintained biking and walking routes.
“To meet the challenge of climate change, while continuing to connect people to where they want to go, we need to think differently about our infrastructure and provide people with more, and better, transportation options,” said Rep. Huffman. “Our quality of life, economy and environment depend on it. This bill invests in transportation infrastructure that gives folks the option to travel using convenient, climate-friendly options nationwide.”
“I’m pleased to introduce the ‘Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act’ with Reps. Pappas and Huffman,” said Rep. Lipinski. “This bill will provide critical funding to help close the gaps in our nation’s pedestrian, cyclist and trail networks. Closing the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail gap in my district is a top priority for avid cyclists like myself, and this legislation will help us get there. It’s vital for both public and environmental health that we connect active transportation networks and increase opportunities to go for a scenic walk or bike ride. Thanks to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, America Walks and others for getting the ball rolling on this important initiative.”
“Smart infrastructure connects Americans with the people and places most important to them,” said Rep. Pappas. “This legislation will expand our active transportation networks, giving people additional active ways not only to exercise and recreate, but also to get to school, commute to work and travel between communities. It also makes good economic sense; these strategic investments in infrastructure throughout the state will bolster local economies and improve quality of life for tourists and locals alike. I look forward to working with my colleagues to find more bipartisan ways to improve our constituents’ commutes, their health and the environment.”
This legislation is supported by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the nation’s largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails.
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