Published on February 17th, 2016 | by Kyle Park Points


What Obama’s 2017 Budget Request Means For Cyclists

February 17th, 2016 by  

Originally published on Gas2.

Improving roads, paths and infrastructure for bicycles

On February 9th, President Barack Obama presented his fiscal year 2017 (FY17) budget requests outlining his administration’s spending recommendations for the upcoming year. What did the office have to say about improving conditions and infrastructure for bicycles? The President emphasized the need to grow transportation choices across the country.

The federal government funds various programs aimed at improving cycling conditions that communities can use to improve and facilitate many different modes of transportation. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER program provides grants to build multi-modal transportation systems and construct facilities to integrate bicycle travel. Obama’s new budget proposes an increase from $500 million a year to $1.25 billion for the TIGER program.

Another aspect of the President’s budget proposal that pertains to cycle transit is the FAST Act. The Act is a five year transportation re-authorization bill. This means improved roads, bridges, transit systems, railways and new infrastructure to include more passable paths for bikes. Within the FAST Act, Obama emphasized the $835 million, an amount previously approved by the Congress, set aside for the Transportation Alternatives Program. The program is one of the essential federal programs used in building bike paths, lanes and trails.

Photo by Rick Friedman-Pool/Getty Images

Recreational biking? The budget has a little something for that too. The President supports full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund program (LWCF) at $900 million. The program provides opportunities to purchase land for developing conservation and recreational areas which many communities have used for bike paths.

For any reader who missed this chapter in American Government class, the House of Representatives and the Senate will also fabricate budget proposals which will be reconciled with the President’s to create the ultimate budget for 2017 with the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2016.

Things appear to be looking up for cyclists around the country. Here’s to a breath of fresh air.

Reprinted with permission.

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About the Author

is a working father in New York City by way of Sarasota, Florida. He is a public transportation enthusiast, clean air advocate, lifetime recycler and frequent panderer. He also reluctantly tended to his family's compost heap for many formative years. He hopes to one day leave his daughter with a safer, healthier environment than when she was born; which shouldn't be hard since she was born in Queens, New York.

  • Brian

    Unless we can put barrier protected bike lanes on every roadway, Bicycling will never take off. The risk is too great, and car drivers, are almost never charged with any crime when they kill a bicyclist, which happens often in car centric America. Bicyclist blaming is the norm in any accident involving a bicycle. Also Dutch style intersections need to be built in every intersection. Yes, this would cost a lot of money, but saving lives and replacing more motorist with bicyclist, would clean our air, and save us money that is spent on fuel for cars. One must look at Amsterdam, and other foreign cities, to see how horrible our bike infrastructure is.

  • JamesWimberley

    “Reconciled” is a nice way of putting it. House and Senate Republicans controlling the budget committees ostentatiously refused to hear presentations of Obama’s draft budget because. They claim to want a return to regular budget procedure, but this grandstanding guarantees yet another last-minute kludge through a continuing resolution. Of course their staffers would be insane not to use the executive’s fully worked-out proposal as a reference, so just maybe the cycling stuff will make it through, as long as no Tea Party congresscritter notices.

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