The U.S. Senate votes today on H.R. 3288, a bill that reduces funding for horse trails.
Yesterday, Senators Tom Coburn (Okla.) and John McCain (Ariz.) issued amendments 2370 and 2371 to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. These amendments eliminate the nation’s largest source of funding for horse trails, biking trails and walking trails. Voting will occur between 3 and 6 p.m. today, Sept. 16.
Amendment 2371 would allow states to eliminate spending on Transportation Enhancement, the nation’s largest funding source for trails. Congress currently sets aside a portion of federal funds for TE to support trail projects in all states.
Amendment 2370 would prohibit the use of federal funds for pedestrian or bicycle facilities, efforts to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, or other specified TE projects if the Highway Trust Fund cannot cover unfunded highway authorizations.
Trails are considered to be one way to pursue economic development through tourism in rural areas. According to the Rails to Trails Conservancy, providing opportunities for Americans to walk, bike and take transit improves communities’ health and livability, reduces emissions, creates jobs and saves money.
To find out how your Senator is voting, call their office today. Phone numbers can be found here: http://tiny.cc/aE6Pi.