Whether you’re calling it the BIB (Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill) or the IIJA (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), you’ll be excited to know that the federal infrastructure spending plan has officially landed at the President’s desk, ready to be signed. With President Biden being a key negotiator and advocate for the legislation, it’s all but certain he will sign it soon, taking a huge step forward for biking priorities throughout the country.
It’s finally (almost) here! The House of Representatives, Senate, and White House have been negotiating for months on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, previously the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill or BIB), passing the initial end-of-September deadline to come to a consensus. Last Friday, the House passed the IIJA, meaning it has officially passed out of Congress and now only requires the President’s signature for it to become law. As an avid supporter and negotiator for the bill, we expect President Biden to sign the bill early next week when members of Congress return to Washington D.C.
The IIJA includes unprecedented investments in transportation initiatives important to bikers, including funding for active transportation, safety of vulnerable road users, comprehensive Complete Streets policies, and more – all with the intention of ensuring funds are spent equitably. Cyclists throughout Wisconsin and the country can be proud of the step forward this bill provides in building safer and more accessible communities for people on bikes.
Here’s some of the bill’s bicycling highlights:
- More than 60% increase in Transportation Alternatives funding
- Important to note, this increase comes with a limit on when and how much a state can transfer – an ongoing issue here in Wisconsin! This will result in more Transportation Alternatives dollars going towards just that: transportation alternatives.
- Requires Vulnerable Road User Safety Asseessment from every state
- States with 15% or more of roadway fatalities being vulnerable users will be required to spend 15% or more of Highway Safety Improvement Plan funds on vulnerable user road safety.
- State and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) planning to create Complete Streets policy, standards, and plans
- New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include a rating on ability to avoid crashes with vulnerable road users
Once the IIJA is passed, our staff will be working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to ensure we’re up-to-date on any new funding opportunities for biking projects throughout the state.