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What Sequestration May Mean for Trails, Biking and Walking

There has been a lot of news coverage and analysis recently of a federal government sequestration and its potential impacts. At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, our experienced policy and research staff have been mining their sources and sorting through all available information to estimate what impact sequestration could have on our movement for better trails, biking and walking.

The US Department of Transportation has determined that monies in the Highway Trust Fund are protected from sequestration. However, we can expect some cuts to transportation funds that do not come from gas taxes, which could marginally reduce road investments and multi-modal programs such as TIGER.

In addition, programs administered by other federal agencies that promote healthy, safe transportation and trails may also be cut. These programs include the Community Development Block Grants, CDC Community Transformation Grants, Department of Interior funds for trails, and other programs.

Here are some actions you can take to mitigate program losses due to sequestration.

1. Push project sponsors and state agencies to obligate funds as early as possible. As time goes on there will be less money available for unobligated projects.

2. Propose projects with higher than required local matches. Reducing the federal share will help the money go further.

3. Encourage state DOTs to use money from their safety programs for projects that benefit trails, biking and walking. Safety programs aren't being subject to the same cuts and thus have more money available. These funds can be used for education initiatives, encouragement campaigns and safety improvements to roadways.

Please take a moment to pass on this informational post to friends and colleagues in the trails and active transportation movement who might be interested. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

 

 


Posted Tue, Mar 5 2013 10:36 AM by Jake Lynch

Comments

Darrell Moses wrote re: What Sequestration May Mean for Trails, Biking and Walking
on Tue, Mar 5 2013 11:46 AM

Mr.Laughin.Your doing a great job,I support you.Trails are the way to go.With all the texting,people talking and driving,its the only safe way to go.

Steve C wrote re: What Sequestration May Mean for Trails, Biking and Walking
on Thu, Mar 14 2013 11:33 AM

Thank God for lower federal spending, and thank God for trails!  These need not be mutually exclusive.  Good work, rails-to-trails!

Mike S wrote re: What Sequestration May Mean for Trails, Biking and Walking
on Thu, Mar 14 2013 2:57 PM

Cutting the federal budget by only a fraction of what it has grown by in the past few years is not a major event. In fact, it should be cut more. Trails can thrive while the federal budget shrinks.

Greg McGann wrote re: What Sequestration May Mean for Trails, Biking and Walking
on Thu, Mar 14 2013 8:37 PM

Regarding cutting fed budget not being a big deal I guess that depends on who one asks.  Has the population declined in past year? Don't think so, so any cut does impact.  To think r to t is very high on budget cutters priority list is pretty naive I'd say.

Ben F wrote re: What Sequestration May Mean for Trails, Biking and Walking
on Fri, Mar 15 2013 7:16 AM

I agree with Steve and Mike. We have to cut spending. And we must all participate. My income has been cut due to sequestration on top of other cuts. Trails CAN thrive in this environment.

William Seward wrote re: What Sequestration May Mean for Trails, Biking and Walking
on Fri, Mar 15 2013 10:05 AM

Sequestration Should mean very little to trails or any thing else. A 2 percent cut in the increase spending means they will have 98 percent of the increase which means the federal government will spend 15-18 billion more this year than last. It in my understanding that most of the money for trails comes from the gas tax. I don't believe the gas tax is affected by sequestration. In Pennsylvania we are getting money from the gas drilling operation. There is never enough money but we are grateful for what have.      

 

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