The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted unanimously this morning to pass a two-year transportation reauthorization bill, moving the bill one step closer to passage by the full Senate.
Unlike in the House, where the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has full responsibility for the transportation bill, the Senate splits jurisdiction among several committees, so the saga isn’t over yet by a long shot. The Senate Banking Committee still needs to consider the transit part of the bill, Commerce will get its hands dirty on the rail portion, and Finance is going to figure out how to pay for the whole thing.
Non-Motorized Transportation Takes a Hit
Rarely have bike and pedestrian safety been so squarely at the center of a Congressional boxing match as during the debate over this bill. The fight over dedicated funding for bike/ped projects – much of it focused on the Transportation Enhancements program – threatened the delicate bipartisan consensus for this bill. What emerged was a compromise that placated even the most hardened TE haters like Sens. James Inhofe and Tom Coburn.
To continue reading this article follow the link to the complete story at Streetsblog.DC.
Also make sure you read Tanya Snyder's second look at the Senate Transportation Bill and why she thinks it's not as bad as it could have been. Also make sure you read the reaction by Rails-to-Trails' Kevin Mills to Tanya's second article (his is the second comment). He is not so optimistic.