Blog Topic: National Policy & Advocacy

Federal Policy Q&A – Summer/Fall 2021

In August, we sent a link to the Safe Routes to School community to ask questions about federal policy related to walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School and committed to answering them here on the blog. Do you have questions?

Deadlines Loom for Infrastructure and Budget as September Rolls Around

After a busy spring and summer working on legislation to reauthorize surface transportation spending, Congress is staring down a September 30th expiration date for current funding. Congress must reauthorize transportation spending or pass a short-term extension in order to maintain funding for transportation. Where things currently stand:

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Makes Meaningful Strides Toward Increasing Funding and Improving Safety for People Walking, Biking, and Safe Routes to School

Update August 10, 2021: The Senate passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with a vote of 69-30. The bill includes all elements described below. The next step for the bill is a vote in the House. The House is in recess until mid-September, however Speaker Pelosi may bring members back to vote on this infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation.

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House Transportation Bill Rolls Along

Last week the House of Representatives passed a five-year, $715 billion dollar transportation reauthorization bill called the INVEST in America Act. The bill includes significant increases in funding for Safe Routes to School, and reinstates the requirement for each state to have a full time Safe Routes to School Coordinator.  On a broader level, it also increases funding for bicycling and walking overall, and has a stronger focus on Complete Streets and safety for vulnerable road users.

House Transportation Bill Takes Even More Steps for Safe Routes

On Friday, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee introduced the INVEST in America Act, their version of the surface transportation bill. It looks great for bicycling and walking. Similar to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) bill released last week, it includes programs and policies that promote bicycling and walking through significantly increased funding for active transportation infrastructure.

Senate Transportation Bill Is Good News for Safe Routes to School

Update May 27, 2021: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed their Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 on a unanimous 20-0 vote. Congratulations to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for winning an amendment that adds $200 million per year over 5 years for their new Connecting America's Active Transportation (CAAT) grant program.  The program would provide larger grants to local communities to help them built interconnected biking, walking and rolling networks.