U.S. Representative Mica (R-FL), the new chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has launched a multi-state tour to hear how locals are impacted by federal transportation dollars and proposals for making the next bill more efficient and cost-effective. The transportation bill has been operating under extensions since September 2009 and Congress is planning to enact a new bill by September 2011.
I attended the local session yesterday at the DuPage County Airport (Chicago Tribune coverage here). While there wasn’t much mention of specific projects, it was clear that everyone in the room was focused on large-scale road, rail and airport projects.
While these projects are important, we hope that the national platform will include ways to reward and support smart local land use planning that is more sustainable and includes opportunities for active transportation. After all, everyone is a bicyclist or pedestrian at one time or another.
Active Trans will submit comments that reflect our views on the inclusion of bike and pedestrian programs, like Safe Routes to School, CMAQ and Transportation Enhancements, in the next transportation bill. We are also heading to Washington, DC in March to lobby for our work.