Enhancements are the primary funding source for bike and pedestrian projects. Had we lost this funding, it would have devastated our efforts to make Detroit and all of Michigan more bike-friendly.
The run up to this vote was colorful. Senator Rand Paul played up America’s failing bridges while decrying wasteful Enhancements spending. The only problem? The Associated Press researched his claims and found them to be “exaggerated and misrepresented” according to the article, FACT CHECK: GOP lawmakers spin funding tall tales.
Both Michigan Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, voted to continue this funding.
Thanks to everyone who contacted their senators prior to today’s vote.
When we contacted Senator Stabenow regarding this issue, she provided this positive response:
Thank you for contacting me about federal funding for pedestrian and bicycle trails. I share your concerns.
Michigan’s lush natural resources and unique landscapes present many opportunities for residents and visitors to make use of our bike paths, hiking trails and other non-motorized pathways. These areas not only provide recreational enjoyment for Michigan residents, but also attract much-needed tourism and economic activity to our state.
In the past, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced legislation that would require most federally funded transportation projects to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation users. If related legislation should come before me for a vote, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.
The Harkin bill she mentions is for Complete Streets.