(R-Auburn) has declared his support for moving to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives a federal transporation funding bill that would would eliminate the Safe Routes to School program and guaranteed public transporation funding, Publicola reports.
In addition to possible effects on Metro and Sound Transit, the elimination of the Safe Routes to School program would affect pedestrian and bicycle improvements thoughout the Eastside. In 2009, the cities of Kirkland and Bellevue received grants through the program to add sidewalks and bike lanes to roads around schools.
Critics have complained that placing transit funding in a general fund—subject to annual appropriation, reversing a Reagan-era policy—will effectively reduce transit funding at a time of record ridership.
In a party-line vote, Reichert joined 19 other Republicans in support of the bill, and 17 were opposed (two Republicans joined Democrats in opposition). A vote in the full House is expected later this month.