I am not a political lobbyist. Nor am I close enough to the transportation funding situation in Washington, DC and other affected communities to reliably forecast the impact from last week’s vote: as part of American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, Congress decided to eliminate dedicated funding for bike/ped, thereby affecting the two largest programs that fund biking and walking infrastructure — Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School.
It begs a question, however. At what point does a particular endeavor no longer require dedicated funding? More specifically, at what point is there enough momentum to fund bike/ped infrastructure at the local level…that demarcated funding really wouldn’t matter that much. Assuming similar overall levels of transportation funding still exist, there might be a silver lining? It provides communities more flexibility and it is, possibly, an indicator that bike/ped issues can more reliably compete against other modes. We are not there yet (and won’t be in, say, 5 years time), but it is a thought.