Federal Transportation Cuts Looming - Contact Governor to Protect Bike and Pedestrian Projects

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Wed, 03/28/2007 - 23:45.

I need to raise an important point of federal budget minutia and ask that you email the Governor to protect riding and pedestrian infrastructure in NE Ohio.

The President wants to save some money so he has rescinded (or canceled) spending for transportation enhancement programs.  Because federal transportation money was already distributed to the states years ago, he can't cancel it directly, so he tells the Governors to decide where to cut.  Transportation Enhancement money is important to NE Ohio. In fact, of all states receiving transportation enhancement money, Ohio trails only California, Texas and Florida. But if Ohio receives a lot of money, we are also being asked to generate a lot of the rescission money – nearly $139 million.

Transportation Enhancements are often used to fund bike trails and pedestrian activities. Here are some projects that you may be familiar as you walk, ride or enjoy the city:
* Detroit-Superior Bridge Bike /Pedestrian path;
* Richmond Road Bikeway:
* Eastside towpath and bridges;
* Bike Racks on RTA Buses (City Racks/City Seats);
* Broadway Streetscape/Morgana Run Trail (Mill Creek to Washington Park);
* Euclid Corridor (E. 17th St Beautification); and
* Chagrin Falls and Shaker Square Enhancements.

You can identify Ohio transportation enhancement projects here:

So what to do?  NE Ohio residents need to contact the Governor and share your views. Tell him to protect your priorities.  By mid-April, the Governor needs to tell the federal government what he intends to do.   Please help the Governor by telling him to protect enhancement spending in NE Ohio that address bike and pedestrian priorities.   You can do that by logging onto the "rails to trails" website, here, and send the Governor a note:



I emailed Strickland - want more info

Thanks for bringing this up. Kevin. How is this related to ODOT money. I would like to see them SLASHED and reduce their sprawl budget by $billions and send $billions to fund alternative things like rail, bike, TOD - anything but offramps to nowhere. So I want ODOT to shrink - have their budget slashed- and want to see advanced lifestyle and energy budgets pumped-up. How does this fit with the fed issues you raise.

BTW - despite my limited knowledge, I followed your advice and emailed the Gov. - thanks!

Disrupt IT

Norm: Thanks for the

Norm: Thanks for the thoughts and for letting the Governor know you want his support for pedestrians and bikes.  These are your tax dollars at work. 

The Federal Department of Transportation, and the Ohio Department of Transportation which distributes money here, uses gas tax money to fund transportation projects but the vast majority are highway projects. It's only fairly recently that alternative transportation has been added to the agenda, largely through these sorts of transportation enhancements that the President has asked the governors to cut.  Thanks you for contacting the Governor and tell him to support cycling and pedestrians.

Today, polls identify that more than half of Americans want to bicycle more and drive less, yet transportation officials have not translated the public goals to public facilities. In 2000, the US Department of Transportation advised states receiving federal funds that "bicycling and walking facilities will be incorporated into all transportation projects unless exceptional circumstances exist," but DOT acknowledges that fewer than half the states comply.  Nationally, bicycles account for 10% of all trips, but only 1% of federal funding. Bike lanes are available for only about 5% of bicycle trips.

Contact the Governor and ask that he support cycling and pedestrian activities. When transportation policy supports and encourages cycling and pedestrian activity, they help generate the desired health, transportation and environmental benefits.


It is my understanding that 1% of the federal tax on gasoline is directed to non-motorized transportation infrastructure.  This means rail trail, bike lanes, even equestrian trails.   There is more money in the kitty than is used, because there are so few non-motorized trans projects.  The money sits there.  You can read about the federal program here


“The Recreational Trails Program was first authorized under the Inter-modal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991, and was reauthorized in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA21). The funds for the RTP are generated from a portion of the 18.4 cents of the federal fuel excise tax paid into the federal highway trust fund by the tax on fuel used by off-road light trucks, ATV's, off-road motorcycles and snowmobiles. “


 Kevin, is it this federal  program to which you are referring?  If Bush doesn't want it, it is not because he is trying to save money - he is trying to stop any tax $ used for non-gas eating non-highway building projects.  There is no deep pocket rail trail lobby to my knowledge.



The money in the federal fund is paid back to the states in the same % as the % of gas taxes collected from each state. 


In Massachusetts a number of non-used Rail Road right of ways have been converted into bike, rollerblade, and walking trails and are VERY popular.  On Cape Cod, there is the Cape Cod Rail Trail and in nice weather it is full of activity – bike stores back up to it in the small towns, restaurants set up tables along side, and the kid get ice cream cones.  Very nice family outing. A key ingredient in that “quality, connected, community”.