The State Senate could vote Wednesday on a change to state law that
would allow transit agencies and other local government units to tap the
state’s road fund for transit and other transportation needs, such as
“dedicated bus lanes, transit signal prioritization, separated bike
lanes and pedestrian safety improvements,” according to the Active Transportation Alliance.
SB 1258, “Building our Economy Transport” (a rather stilted bill name, if you ask me), “provides
that a county board or municipality may use motor fuel tax money for
construction of public transportation facilities.” That’s the simple
description at the General Assembly’s website. And I’m all for that.
The bill has a decent chance to pass, says Greg Hinz on Crain’s Chicago Business blog:
“Jim LaBelle, the transit honcho at Metropolis Strategies
(a civic group formerly known as Metropolis 2020), gives the bill a shot
at passage since it is “permissive,” allowing the state and cities to
spend money on transit, bike paths and the like but not requiring them
to do so.
“Such flexibility at a time of reduced spending would
appear to fit the agendas of both Republicans and Mayor-elect
Rahm Emanuel. But we’ll have to see.”
But this stuff doesn’t happen on its own. Our senators DO respond to constituent pressure. So call your senator today.