Last week, the Massachusetts Senate voted to approve the Transportation Bond Bill. The great news is that they voted to preserve $50 million for a Complete Streets incentive program, and $377 million over the next five years for bike and pedestrian paths. MassBike joins its Active Streets partners Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Massachusetts Public Health Association, WalkBoston, Transportation For Massachusetts, and Massachusetts YMCAs, who together coordinated efforts to advance this legislation, in celebrating this development.
According to MassBike Executive Director David Watson, “the $377 million for bike and pedestrian project funding is a victory and represents a major increase. We’re not done yet – we still need to convince MassDOT to spend more than the $130 million for paths in the current Capital Investment Plan – but we’ve taken another step toward giving MassDOT the bonding flexibility to do more.”
Throughout this process, MassBike continued its role as the voice for bicyclists in statewide advocacy efforts. After testifying at the Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, we met together with our coalition partners and the staff of committee chairman Senator Brian Joyce (D-Milton). MassBike met individually with committee member State Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington).
In addition, we sent action alerts to organizations in our statewide advocacy network, and also alerted our members in Senator Joyce’s district to ask them to call or email in support of the funding. A big thanks goes out to those who voiced their support. This coordinated effort was pivotal in ensuring that the funding remained at the $377 million level.
The Transportation Bond Bill now goes to conference where the House and Senate will reconcile differences in each version. After that, it returns to both chambers for approval.