After a series of cyclist fatalities in 2008, the city of Huntsville planned Alabama’s first ever bicycle awareness program in 2009. Huntsville’s bicycle program has been halted after the Alabama Department of Transportation rescinded the $197,000 grant to fund this program.
Huntsville is one of many transportation programs throughout the United States suffering from the lack of a national transportation funding plan. The previous long term transportation spending authorization law, SAFETEA-LU, was passed in 2005 and expired September 2009. Since then, transportation spending has come in fits and starts like a cranky starter motor as Congress dribbles funding through continuing authorizations. The states receive their share of Highway Trust Fund revenue through these four week authorizations, making planning for the long term nearly impossible.
Budget rescissions compound the problem. The US Congress rescinded nearly $9 billion in Federal transportation funds. The state of Alabama lost $176 million or 36% of their 2009 allotment from these rescissions.
Read more about the Huntsville’s cancelled bike safety program: “Wheels come off Huntsville’s proposed cycling-safety ad campaign.” Thank you to Bello Vello in Huntsville for that update.
I hope the decision to rescind the money was a hard one to make for whomever had to decide. Not cool.