A national bicycle advocate worries President Trump’s proposed budget will hurt Michigan and other states’ efforts to promote two-wheel commuting.
The president’s budget proposal eliminates funding for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant program. The Obama administration set up the program in 2009 to fund local transportation projects.
Kevin Mills is with the Rails to Trails Conservancy. He worries cutting the TIGER program will greatly reduce financial support for bikers.
“We could see losing the role the federal government has played as a catalyst that’s enabled Michigan to become this rail-trail leader,” says Mills.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says the TIGER grant money could be put back into the transportation system in a more "holistic" way.
The president has floated the idea of a trillion dollar infrastructure program which would be largely funded with private investment. But the proposal remains undefined.
Mills worries some in Congress may want to turn back the clock on transportation funding.
“There’s a small group in Congress that for years has been talking as though they want to go back to the 1950’s where all we had to worry about was the interstate highway system,” says Mills.
The Rails to Trail Conservancy is urging Michigan bicyclists to make their opinions known to the state’s congressional delegation.