If you’ve ridden on a bicycle trail or a major stand-alone bicycling project, the chances are good that you have taken advantage of a product of the federal funding program known as Transportation Enhancements (TE).
As a new report from the National Transportation Enhancement Clearinghouse (NTEC) shows, every state, every congressional district, seemingly every community, has benefited from Enhancements projects, most of which relate to bicycling and walking:
- Bicycling and walking infrastructure: 50.4%
- Rail-Trails: 6.9%
- Pedestrian facilities: 6.3%
- Or bicycling and walking safety programs: 0.3%
The report shows the scope of the TE program at a time that a broad coalition is fighting for the Cardin-Cochran agreement (new link), a measure in the next transportation authorization bill that would increase local control and ensure bicycling and walking funds get spent. Meanwhile, a handful of members of Congress on the transportation bill conference committee are doing their best to eliminate bicycling and walking funds altogether.
This attack comes despite the fact that the program has been popular and over-subscribed. “Transportation Enhancement funding continues to be in high demand,” the report says. “Most states report that they cannot fund all of the qualified projects and many sponsors are providing larger than the required non-federal share of project costs.”
“With the current interest in re-evaluating funding for the TE activities on Capitol Hill, it’s more important than ever to understand what these funds are and are not,” says Tracy Hadden Loh, NTEC’s director. “This report is a tool for decision-makers and their constituents to understand the role of the TE activities in building a complete and high-quality transportation system, and to explore variations in TE implementation from state to state.”
League Policy Director
Flusche joined the League in April 2009 and has a B.A. in history from Syracuse University and a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in public policy analysis from New York University.