The Congress recently added a large number of infrastructure project to the INVEST for America Act that served bicyclists, pedestrians, micromobility riders, and people who use assistive devices. Overall, the proposed five-year, $547 billion authorization includes active transportation infrastructure projects worth an estimated $10 billion.
According to StreetBlog USA, 20 percent, or $1 billion, of all member-designated projects or “earmarks” went to these projects, a clear sign that demand for significant investments in active transportation far exceeds what is provided by existing federal programs.
Locally, 8th District Congressman Don Beyer added four projects to the bill that contain some provisions to advance active transportation:
- $4,000,000 for I–66 Transportation Alternatives
- $2,000,000 for Falls Church Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure Improvements
- $5,000,000 for Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit
- $10,500,000 for Silver Line Support Transportation Alternatives
He also earmarked funding of $9,000,000 for the Arlington Ridge Road Bridge. Like the soon-to-start West Glebe Road Bridge repairs, this project would include new and wider sidewalks, bike lanes, and enhanced lighting.”
While the INVEST for America Act has been passed by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, it is a long way from becoming law. Still, the legislation and the significant political support it is attracting indicate that lawmakers are paying and will continue to pay more attention to active transportation.
The momentum for combating climate, health, pollution, congestion, and other challenges has never been stronger nor the need for advocacy greater. Won’t you join us in working to make bicycling better in Fairfax County? Contact us at [email protected]