Last Friday President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), or the transportation reauthorization bill. Funding for policies that provide access to sidewalks, bike paths, and Safe Routes to School was ultimately preserved – and even got a slight increase – in this five year bill. The programs now reside under the “STP Setaside” (formerly known as the Transportation Alternatives Program), and there were even some policy improvements to the programs as well.
Given that at the beginning of this year, the House was determined to completely eliminate all of these important programs that help keep our communities active, being able not only to preserve but to get a slight bump in funding and modest changes is quite the amazing victory.
Importantly, the five year bill and essentially programmatic status quo means that there will be seamless continuity for state and local partners for the next five years as they continue to plan projects and apply for and administer these funds. For more information on the details of the bill, visit this blog post authored by Margo Pedroso at Safe Routes to School National Partnership: