Support for
has been provided by these organizations and individuals:

John Hennessy III,

League of American Bicyclists: RESCISSIONS AND RESTORATION

Posted by Content Coordinator on Thursday, April 21st, 2011


In September 2009, Congress rescinded, or cancelled, $8.7 billion worth of unspent transportation funds from State DOTs. In March 2010, the HIRE Act restored those funds. Bicycling and walking advocates should strongly encourage Departments of Transportation to make bicycling and walking projects a priority and quickly spend the restored funding.

Rescissions are essentially a book keeping measure when properly administered. It allows USDOT to recoup unspent funds. However, some state DOTs have turned into an opportunity to gut neglected bicycle and pedestrian funding sources in order to preserve favored programs.

All funding programs should receive equal consideration to others: they should be spent proportionally and rescinded proportionally. Instead, some of the strongest programs for bicycle and pedestrian projects – Transportation Enhancements (TE), Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) – suffered higher rescission rates than other programs. In some states, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails also had higher rates of rescissions. The figure on page 4 shows how rescissions disproportionately targeted TE funding, for example.

The rescissions unfairly targeted these programs. The funds have been restored to the programs from which they were rescinded. Now DOTs should prioritize these programs and use them to implement bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Advocates should:

  • Identify cities, towns, and Municipal Planning Organizations (MPOs) that have benefited from TE, CMAQ, SRTS, and Rec Trails projects and highlight them to show the DOT, the state legislature, and the governor’s office their importance
  • Urge the head of state DOTs and governors to ensure bicycle and pedestrian projects get their fair share of funding from these funding sources quickly. In some case, state legislatures can be helpful as well. If you are doing any public events, such as ribbon cuttings, you can use that opportunity to encourage elected officials to invest more in bicycle and pedestrian projects
  • Meet with state DOT personnel to review USDOT guidance on each funding source as it relates to bicycle and pedestrian projects and make sure they are implementing good projects and programs

TE Funds

Download full version (PDF): Rescissions and Restoration

About League of American Bicyclists
“The League began as the League of American Wheelmen (LAW) in 1880, and was responsible for defending the rights of cyclists from its start. The League of American Wheelmen is credited with getting paved roads in this country before the reign of the automobile.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr


Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!


What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.


The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.