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05-26-20 | Legislation

America's Transportation Infrastructure Act is Supported by the ASLA

Passing the ATIA Bill Could Increase Highway Spending by 27%

The ASLA has been vocal in advocating for legislation that advances transportation networks. Congress periodically passes a surface transportation bill that authorizes and sets spending levels for federal programs in transportation. The current law will expire at the end of September of this year, creating the necessity to quickly pass its successor.

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Bill S. 2302, known as America's Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), was introduced to the Senate last July and pushes for many different provisions concerning highway transportation infrastructure. Congress.gov highlights improvements to road safety, accelerated project completion, advancements in the ability to mitigate disasters, and to minimize the number of highway emissions. Furthermore, the bill would vastly increase highway spending by up to 27 percent over the following five years.

The ASLA has found several aspects of this legislation of value to them. They have expressed their specific interest in many areas of the bill, including a 40 percent increase in the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, requiring 2.5 percent of state planning funds towards Complete Street policies, and the mandated use of natural infrastructure. Additionally, they are pushing for a $310 million increase of funding for the National Park Service, and $2.5 billion going towards the creation of plans that reduce pedestrian injuries over the next five years.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Environmental and Public Works within the Senate after its introduction. The committee unanimously passed the legislation with an amendment in the nature of a substitute the following day. The ATIA looks promising going forward as a replacement for the previous surface transportation bill, and it should get further attention from the Senate relatively soon. We will be continuing to report updates on the matter as they come about.

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