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Cardin-Cochran Amendment Would Boost Local Control of Bike-Ped Funding

1:05 PM PST on February 14, 2012

We mentioned it briefly last week, but the amendment to the Senate transportation bill from Maryland Democrat Ben Cardin and Mississippi Republican Thad Cochran is a critical one to track. The amendment would give local governments, rather than state DOTs, access to most federal bike-ped funding.

The way the Senate transportation bill, MAP-21, is currently written, all funding for complete streets programs is funneled to state DOTs, and for many cities and towns this could mean losing access to funds that make streets safer.

The Cardin-Cochran Amendment would instead direct the funding to what are known as “Tier 1 Metropolitan Planning Organizations” — agencies that help decide how to spend federal transportation dollars in regions larger than 1 million people. In states that have no MPOs serving areas larger than 1 million residents, state DOTs would distribute the money directly to local communities through a grant process.

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