Smiley & Smiley, LLP

New Bill Limits Funding For Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Programs

Many alternative transportation experts are dissatisfied with the final product of the federal transportation bill, referred to as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21.

One particularly damaging provision of the bill is the portion which addresses the federal programs that finance initiatives for pedestrians and bike riders. The bill cuts the funding for the "Transportation Alternatives" program by one-third. With only a scant three percent of federal transportation funding set aside for pedestrian and bicycle programs currently, the cut to these small programs' budgets could have serious effects, as many areas depend on them to promote safety on the roads.

The executive director of Transportation Alternatives has expressed frustration at the bill, stating that "Hundreds of New Yorkers are killed and thousands injured while walking and cycling each year - and this bill won't send much help. New York City must continue to lead, and the state must continue to provide this needed safety funding."

In addition, the bill cut many reforms included in the Senate's original version, including a provision that set aside funds for repairing and maintaining roads and bridges. Keeping our infrastructure in good condition is a necessity to protect the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists on the road and the lack of funding may challenge the ability of local governments to do so.

Those who have been injured following a bicycle or pedestrian accident would be wise to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to better ensure that their rights are protected.

Source: Tri-State Transportation Campaign, "Federal Transportation Bill a Disappointment for New York," June 29, 20212.

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