|Blumenauer ACTS to Make Active Transportation Safer, Easier, and More Accessible|
|Monday, 01 March 2010 19:00|
Washington, DC – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore), Chair of the Livable Communities Task Force , today introduced legislation that will help communities improve active forms of transportation such as walking and biking. Through the Active Community Transportation (ACT) Act of 2010, communities can access funding for transportation options that improve community vitality, reduce global warming pollution, boost public health, and create jobs in the process.
“Too often we take for granted the value of being able to bike and walk to work,” said Blumenauer. “It’s unfortunate that many communities don’t have the infrastructure in place to make active and healthy forms of transportation more accessible. The ACT transportation grants will make it easier for people to get out of their vehicles and onto sidewalks or bikes, boosting heart rates and community vitality.” The ACT Act provides funding to communities that are prepared to provide healthier, cost-effective, more environmentally friendly transportation options by establishing a $2 billion competitive grant program within the Department of Transportation. The grants will provide funding for communities to create active transportation networks that provide safe and convenient access for pedestrians and bicyclists
“Bicycling and walking have real potential to replace short car trips in communities across the country - and increasing active transportation has got to be good for individuals, communities and the nation,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “This visionary bill will help us realize that potential, economically, efficiently and effectively and we thank Congressman Blumenauer and his colleagues for their leadership in bringing it forward.”
“Communities are eager to pull the pieces of their active transportation systems together so that the public can safely walk and bike,” said Kevin Mills, Vice President of Policy for Rails to Trails. “It is essential that we give Americans the means to achieve their dreams of livable communities by offering healthy, clean, affordable and enjoyable ways to get around. The ACT Act provides the missing piece of our transportation puzzle.”
“Forty percent of all trips in the US are two miles or less,” said Randy Neufeld, President of America Bikes. “Giving people the option to bike and walk can alleviate traffic, encourage healthy lifestyles, and create safe and inexpensive travel options. The even better news is cities across the country are showing us that if you give people that option, they really do walk and bike more.”
The ACT Act will have two grant application rounds. The first round will take place 180 days after the passage of the bill. Qualified communities will receive annual grants ranging from $5 million to $15 million for five years. The second application round will take place two years after the passage of the bill. Qualified communities will receive annual grants ranging from $5 million to $15 million for three years. If a community fails to meet its obligations under the program, the Secretary is authorized to discontinue funds.
Learn more about the ACT Act of 2010.
The legislation is supported by a coalition of 26 national organizations, over two dozen mayors and city councils. Read the full letter of support.
Organizations include: Transportation for America, America Bikes, Rails to Trails Conservancy, the Outdoor Industry Association, the League of American Bicyclists, Environment America, Bikes Belong, Trek, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, Complete Streets, Smart Growth America, the American Planning Association, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the American Public Transportation Association, the American Institute of Architects, the Outdoor Alliance, the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, the Trust for America’s Health, the YMCA, the National Association of Realtors.