MAP21 doesn’t necessarily have to bad news for advocates of biking and walking. There are still funding sources available, but we may not be prepared to access them. Washington State is on the cusp of losing the Safe Routes to School program. So what? Education is more effective and long term than infrastructure. When that bike-ped trail has worn out and needs rebuilidng, the year’s of children trained to recognize alternative transportation will still be around.
To recap, the new federal bill, or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) as its authors call it, diminishes direct funding for walking and biking by a minimum of 35%. Unfortunately, those cuts could skyrocket to 70%, if Governor Gregoire chooses to divert federal funds to other transportation projects.
The funding stream most vulnerable to these cuts? Safe Routes to School.