Transportation bill update for March 2nd, 2012

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Photos by Jane Healy. 

Update March 5, 2012: Cloture vote is Tuesday, March 6th, via Smart Growth America

Republican leadership in the House has essentially admitted that their multi-year surface transportation bill needs to be reworked. Read all our past coverage on it. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, our region’s metropolitan planning organization, is doing a great job keeping up with this on their blog and in their weekly newsletter. From today’s newsletter:

Transportation reauthorization update. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives discussed replacing their initial 5-year reauthorization bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (AEIJA), with a reduced 18-month program.

This proposal would fund federal transportation programs through mid-2013, and would reconnect mass transit funding to the Highway Trust Fund. Also this week, the U.S. Senate failed to advance one of the non-germane amendments that have been attached to Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century [MAP-21, the Senate’s version of a surface transportation bill]), the two-year reauthorization bill. Senate Majority Leader Reid announced that he intends to file cloture on the substitute amendment to MAP-21 [cloture requires 60 votes to pass – the Democratic caucus controls only 53 seats]. The vote is scheduled for March 6.

Read more on their Policy Updates blog.

What else is happening? The Senate has included the Cardin-Cochrane amendment that gives metro areas control over bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure spending.

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The House of Representatives cannot get away with passing a bill that leaves us empty train tracks. 

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