National Partners and Priorities
Federal Transportation Reauthorization
The federal surface transportation programs are reauthorized every six years but there is often disagreement and extensions at previous funding levels are passed. This year, 2021, is no exception. Much of the money, tens of millions of dollars, spent on walking, biking, and safe routes to school in Minnesota is part of the federal Transportation Alternatives and Safe Routes to School programs.
BikeMN works directly with the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) on federal legislation and participates regularly in the annual National Bike Summit they sponsor. We also work closely with the Safe Routes Partnership, People for Bikes, and the Rails to Trails Conservancy. There are several other organizations that have goals to support active transportation as part of public health and safety, outdoor recreation, climate change, land use, transit, transportation in general, and more. That is a wide range of organizations that includes the American Heart Association, Sierra Club, Transportation 4 America, and International Mountain Bike Association.
Right now the biking and walking related top priority in Washington, D.C. is President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and the U.S. House and Senate’s related proposals. Here’s a link to the LAB blog post on where we are at with the federal transportation reauthorization. The Senate’s draft of the Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 would significantly increase funding for walking, biking, and safe routes and change the requirements for planning for and policies related to the safety of vulnerable road users, but, it does not address the climate and transit issues that President Biden requested. The U.S. House version of transportation reauthorization released in early June is called the Invest in America Act. It addresses more of President Biden’s requests but will cost over $100 billion per year, a number that is too high to garner Republican support. Where this will end up is unknown, but there appears to be bipartisan support for more funding and policy improvements for active transportation, safe routes, and vulnerable user safety.
Learn more about the other National Advocacy Groups we work with.