Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Senator Rand Paul's Plan To Repair Bridges: Kill Transportation Enhancements

No transportation enhancements program...
In the latest attack on Transportation Enhancements, Senator Rand Paul has proposed eliminating the $700 million dollar Transportation Enhancements Fund and spending that money on bridge repair. One current estimate on the cost of repairing the nation's bridges is $70 billion dollars. This plan is like taking away the dog's water bowl because the house is on fire.

We agree that our nation's bridges should be kept safe, but the lives of pedestrians and cyclists are important too. Thirteen people died when the Minneapolis bridge collapsed in 2007. Since then, close to 20,000 pedestrians and 2,800 cyclists have died on our nation’s highways, largely as a result of poor highway design and a lack of safe, non-motorized infrastructure – exactly what the Transportation Enhancements program was created to fix.

Another reason why this is not a good reallocation of transportation resources: last year, states returned $530 million in unused bridge funds. States are not spending the money already allocated to bridge repair. Let them spend that money first before cannibalizing other transportation safety programs.

Please contact your Senators today to ask them to vote against the Paul amendment (SA-821) to eliminate Transportation Enhancements. And then please forward this message to at least five others who care about the safety of people walking and bicycling on our streets.