The Thunderhead Alliance, a group of pedestrian and bicycle advocacy organizations, sent out a press release about the Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution, FY 2007 (which, as I understand it, is the resolution continuing FY 06 funding for FY 07 since the last congress couldn't pass a budget). As a result
The largest rescission of federal transportation funds ever ordered by Congress is underway, totaling $3.471 billion.
And as such threatens
program balances in key priority programs, such as the Bridge Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ), Transportation Enhancements (TE) and certain Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds.
That means $56 million less for Maryland, $14 million less for D.C. and $96 million less for Virginia. The feds let local DOTs decide which programs the money comes from which is troubling because in 2006.
Programs that fund bicycling and walking were targeted at a far greater percent than highway programs during the FY’06 rescissions, even though these programs represent a minor percentage of the apportioned funds. Some states targeted only the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). Texas took their entire rescission amount from the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program.
Thunderhead is asking organizations to pressure their state (district) DOTs to be fair in removing money from bike/ped programs.
Interestingly the government doesn't tell states how to spend this federal money the way they used to. Now they give the states an amount of money (lets say $100 for ease) and tells them they can spend up to $50 on this, up to $40 on this, up to $30 on this and up to $25 on this. Then they let them decide how to spend their money. (More on that here). Anyway they can also put money into flex spending to cover the deficits they missed in previous years. Since the deficits are growing (and are allowed to accumulate), the percentage they can put in flex is growing and federal oversight is shrinking.