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Release: Transportation for America on the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021

“The status quo is sending us backwards.”

A statement from Transportation for America director Beth Osborne on the surface transportation reauthorization bill passed today by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:

“We’re incredibly disappointed to see the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously pass—yet again—another highway bill that cements the broken status quo in place for decades. This bill attempts to solve the problems with the transportation system with small, underfunded new programs while spending way more to continue to churn out those same problems. 

“This bill is far from a down payment on the American Jobs Plan. In many ways it completely undermines it. The American Jobs Plan prioritized maintenance, climate, equity and safety; today the EPW Committee pushed those goals aside and passed a long-term bill that pumps billions into worsening these problems. 

“Neither Republican nor Democratic priorities are addressed in this bill. It wastes taxpayer dollars trying to achieve congestion relief and safety with tools that have failed for decades. It creates barriers to employment and essential services for many people, particularly carless households in rural America, low income households and people of color.  It allows states to opt out of lowering carbon emissions and continues to support strategies that are well known to raise them. In transportation, when bipartisanship is the goal, the broken status quo is the result. 

“We don’t have time for another five years of creating more problems that will take 20-50 years to solve.  We urge the Senate to engage in an open process to fix this bill or reject it and start again.” 

3 Comments

  1. CLAUDIA NIX

    4 months ago

    I am disappointed that this bill does not address the needs to make all people traveling our roads to do so safely. Just pumping money into a process that ignores folks who walk, ride a bike and or a bus is simple neglect.
    Just increasing the number of roads to satisfy auto traffic increases death and injury to our most vulnerable people is not the way to improve things it only makes matters worse. During the pandemic when traffic was reduced we still had just as many fatalities and injuries because our roads are designed tor people to drive fast. Please look a things a new way and consider and fund safety.

  2. Jim Gordon

    4 months ago

    They’re not getting the message. It’s as if it were still 1956.

  3. Steve Crosmer

    3 months ago

    The highway portion of this bill is not about road repairs and traffic relief. It is more about an open throttle and profits for toll road trolls.