Breaking news: The Senate transportation bill now includes the Cardin-Cochran amendment for local control of bicycle and pedestrian funding in the manager’s package.
The latest version of MAP-21, filed late yesterday, pulls together the separate committee drafts into one bill and incorporates Cardin-Cochran as one of the managers’ amendments. The Senate will hold a cloture vote on Tuesday and then move ahead with debate, presuming the vote passes.
The adoption of Cardin-Cochran puts bicycle and pedestrian funding in the hands of local communities through both sub-allocation to the regions, as well as a competitive grant program for small communities that are not part of a metropolitan planning organization.
This means that Caltrans must distribute the bicycle and pedestrian funding, rather than sitting on the funding until the 18 month window is up and then transferring it to another use. And as California has repeatedly returned a high percentage of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian funding in the annual rescission process under current law, this policy would ensure that these funds are spent at the local level on projects that increase safety and mobility for our cities, counties, and regions.
There’s more good news in the updated draft of MAP-21, and we’ll have more on those soon. However, the Cardin-Cochran amendment is an incredible victory for California’s communities – please thank Senator Boxer today!