The safety of cyclists across the country may be at risk. Members of Congress have introduced a bill (H.R. 2609) that seeks to eliminate the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). In 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The act combined pre-existing transportation projects into a single program now called TAP.
TAP provides funding for programs and projects defined as “transportation alternatives.” Pedestrian and bicycle facilities, safe routes to school projects, safe routes for non-drivers, community improvement activities and environmental mitigation projects are considered transportation alternatives.
It’s easy to take these important federally funded programs for granted, but if they were suddenly defunded, motorists and non-motorists alike would quickly notice the loss. TAP helps create trails, crosswalks, sidewalks and bike lanes, which help millions of people to safely get where they need to go.
When non-motorist transportation (like biking and walking) makes up 12 percent of all trips in the United States, defunding programs that maintain the safety of a large portion of the population seems like a dangerous move. Members of the biking community, like the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, have quickly reacted to the proposals by urging other cyclists to contact their congressional representatives about halting the bill. Without cost-effective programs like TAP that maintain active transportation spaces like trails and bike lanes, the health and safety of our communities are threatened.
TAP is the largest dedicated source of funding for trails and other walking and biking infrastructure in America. Without it, programs such as the Wisconsin Complete Street Programs that require the DOT to consider cyclists’ and pedestrians’ needs in all new state or federally funded construction projects will suffer.
Hupy and Abraham supports the rights of cyclists and believes that the programs in place to protect them are necessary. If you would like to weigh in on the issue, take action now and demand that Congress upholds the safety of cyclists. Contact your local congressional representative and urge them to vote against any amendments or legislation similar to H.R. 2609 that would eliminate TAP.
In the event that you are injured due to unsafe or insufficient bicycling infrastructure in Wisconsin, Illinois or Iowa, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-800-5678 for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation today.