swung into action today to help defeat an amendment offered by Senator John
McCain (AZ) that would have eliminated 7 of the 12 Transportation
Enhancements (TE) eligible categories, including the “Landscaping and Scenic
Beautification” category. Senate Amendment 739, offered to the fiscal year 2012
spending package (HR 2112), was tabled by a vote of 59-39, effectively
killing the amendment. This means
that the TE program will, for now, remain unchanged and fully intact.
The Transportation Enhancements program successfully
provides communities with a host of benefits using only around 2% of the
federal transportation budget. The TE program is one of the most critical
sources of federal funding for creating bicycle and walking paths and for
connecting these networks to our daily activities including school, work,
shopping, dining and other activities.
In addition, the TE program provides flexible funding to states to
perform valuable streetscaping projects, mitigate stormwater runoff, and
preserve and protect historic transportation buildings.
a coalition letter to senate offices urging opposition to the McCain Amendment
that would have gutted the TE program. The Trust for Public Land, American
Planning Association, American Rivers, Defenders of Wildlife, Alliance for
Community Trees, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation
Voters, Rails to Trails Conservancy, the Sierra Club, Environment America, the
Center for Biodiversity, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation all
joined in signing ASLA’s letter. In addition, ASLA’s grassroots activists
inundated their Senators with messages opposing the McCain Amendment.
to the TE program still remain, with legislation to eliminate the program
introduced in both the House and the Senate. ASLA will continue to lead efforts
opposing eliminating or gutting the Transportation Enhancements program.
For more on ASLA Advocacy www.asla.org/advocacy