Federal Bicycling Budgets Face Cuts

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Don't look for a boost in federal support to clean up the much-neglected trail system in national forests next year. The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) approved an FY 18 spending bill covering the U.S. Forest Service that would give it $75.553 million for Trail Maintenance & Construction. That represents a cut of $1.997 million from the FY 17 level. On the other hand, the committee rejected President Donald Trump's administration's request to practically wipe out funding, as it requested only $12.7 million,

The bill (H.R. 3354) was awaiting a House vote as of late July.

The Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC), meanwhile, approved a bill (S. 3068) that would provide a little less than the House would: $69.777 million for maintenance and $5.053 for construction. The bill was also awaiting a Senate vote as of late July.

On the other hand, the Sumatran isn't the only TIGER on the endangered list. The future of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover (TIGER) Grant program remains in limbo, with mixed signals from Congress. The Trump Administration asked Congress to eliminate it. Some communities (Wasatch Front in Utah) use the grants to support bicycling (Cycling West, April 2017).

SAC approved an FY 18 transportation funding bill that would add $50 million for the program (sometimes called National Infrastructure Investment) providing $550 million. But HAC voted to take Trump's recommendation and give no new TIGER grant money.

 

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