(Thank you, League of American Bicyclists for making this information available to us)
Congress To Move On Stimulus Bill Vote
(2.13.09) The U.S. House and Senate are expected to vote today on a $789 billion economic stimulus package that provides $27.5 billion to modernize roads and bridges, and includes a three percent set-aside of each state’s share of the $27.5 billion for the Transportation Enhancements program. At least half of funds must be obligated by states within 120 days, or the U.S. Secretary of Transportation can recall up to 50 percent of the un-obligated funds. Specific language for Federal Highway Administration infrastructure investment can be seen here.
Also included is $8.4 billion to increase public transportation and improve transit facilities; $8 billion for investment in high-speed rail; and $1.5 billion for a discretionary surface transportation grant program to be awarded competitively by the Secretary of Transportation. The bill text and joint explanatory statement are now available here.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration have issued guidance to assist state and local agencies in preparing for implementation of the stimulus bill. The guidance includes Q&As and actions that can be taken to expedite economic recovery projects.
Other Bicycle Pedestrian Infrastructure Funding Options: Additionally, States will be receiving:
· $53.6 billion in state fiscal stabilization funding: States must use 18.2 percent of their funding – or $9.7 billion – for public safety and government services. An eligible activity under this section is to provide funding to K-12 schools and institutions of higher education to make repairs, modernize and make renovations to meet green building standards. LEED’s green standards for schools include bicycle and pedestrian facilities and access to the school.
· $3.1 billion is provided for the Energy Efficiency and Block Grant Program. This provides formula funding to cities, counties and states to undertake a range of energy efficiency activities. One eligible use of funding is for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.