Show #271 – November 7, 2015

Nov 7, 2015 by

Guests: Senator Sherrod Brown; Keith Laughlin, Tim Blumenthal

(Note: This show was recorded on Wednesday and Thursday, November 4th and 5th, before the passage of the Surface Transportation Bill Thursday afternoon. Who knew???)

This week we dodged a HUGE bullet when amendments that would have cut funding for bicycle related initiatives including the Recreational Trails Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program were tabled and another amendment, #36, was introduced that will make it EASIER for states to commit funds to bike/ped projects.

News from a variety of sources sent up alarm bells on Tuesday and then, literally overnight – poof! We were “home free”.

I wanted to know what was going on in Congress that suddenly put the transportation bill front and center, creating such a hot topic, and so went looking for answers. I found it in three very tuned-in sources.

My first guest is the senior Senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown (D). Senator Brown always brings his incredible insight and energy to questions and issues and this week tells us what he thinks might be the outcome of the vote on the Surface Transportation Bill** as well as how and why things might or might not change with the new Speaker of the House. He also explains how important it is that we once again make the U.S. a world class country in terms of infrastructure and transportation.

We then talk with the president of People for Bikes, Tim Blumenthal. Tim explains many of the reasons that Congress, and especially those responsible for programs that make communities more sustainable from an economic perspective, tabled those program slashing initiatives. PFB is now a strong 1.2 million voices and carries some serious clout!

Finally, my go to guy, Keith Laughlin who is president of Rails-to-Trails, gives us his inside-the-beltway understanding of the whys and wherefores of the transportation situation as well as some insight into who helped quash those amendments and what the passage of a new Surface Transportation Bill will mean going forward.

Three great guests – three intelligent and informed perspectives.

Take a listen!

(according to the U.S. Congress web site, the bill passed on November 5th!)

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