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Rallying for alternative transportation options

Photo May 09, 7 14 02 AM*On May 25, an article was posted in the Wall Street Journal (Taxing for Highways, Paying for Bike Lanes) regarding raising the gas tax. The author, Mac Zimmerman, policy director at Americans for Prosperity, discusses ways to get additional money when the Highway Trust Fund runs out and suggests that changes need to be made on where the money is going before decisions are made on where it is coming from: “Before considering any policy that would raise additional revenue, Congress should first reform where the fund’s money goes. The Highway Trust Fund now pays for a plethora of projects that have little to do with highways. According to a 2013 analysis by the Heritage Foundation, at least 20% of gas-tax revenues in recent years went toward other programs, from light rail to bike lanes to landscaping projects.”

Supporters of alternative transportation projects rallied together to respond to Zimmerman’s statements (Roads, Bridges, Buses, Bikes and the Federal Gas Tax), including Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.), T. Peter Ruane, President & CEO of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, and Andy Clarke with the League of American Bicyclists. They discussed the need for the gas tax to be raised due to inflation, the fact that “sidewalk and bike trail spending accounted for about 1% of the $39 billion invested in the FY 2013 federal highway program,” and the need for “choice, flexibility, sustainability and efficiency created by having multiple forms of transportation.

Read the full article and the response in the Wall Street Journal.

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