Just two days ago we sent out an Action Alert asking you to contact Senator Kerry and urge him to support a pro-biking amendment in the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. We got a lot of notes from bicyclists who heeded our call, and it seems like it worked. Not only did Senator Kerry vote in favor of the amendment, but the Begich Amendment was passed with unanimous bipartisan support!
The amendment requires states to accommodate all users of the road on federally funded projects, also known as a “Complete Streets Policy.” The only change to the amendment was at the request of Senator John Thune (R-SD), who wanted to ensure that the states could define what a Complete Street is. Given that state and local control over the definition of a Complete Street is a hallmark of the concept, this was accepted with no objections.
Unfortunately, there are many more steps before this amendment can become law. Two more Senate committees must pass the legislation, and then the Senate as a whole must vote to pass it. Then, the House of Representatives will need to reconcile the Senate version with their own. Fortunately, because this passed with bipartisan support, it stands a much better chance of surviving than more contentious amendments.
As always, we are working hard with our national partners to ensure that we get the best federal transportation bill for bicyclists. We will keep you updated as things unfold, and undoubtedly need more of your valuable support!