July 8, 2019
in Bike Pedestrian
Big news for walking, biking and rolling in Illinois! Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed a bill that creates a $33 billion, six-year transportation capital program in the state. For the first time ever, $50 million a year will go toward walking and bicycling projects. This significant investment will help to reduce fatality rates and increase safe, active transport throughout the state, especially in communities of greatest need!
Funds will be administered statewide through a competitive grant process using the existing Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which is currently entirely federally funded. The bill also includes equity language that states at least 25% of funding shall be designated towards projects in high need communities, defined by community median income and property tax base. The additional funds from the state will double the size of the program and could fund 125 new projects every year! This is a significant appropriation coming from a state without a sunset date.
Congratulations to the American Heart Association in Illinois and to all the volunteers and advocates who are working to make streets safer for physical activity! This substantial funding will have a lasting impact for many years to come!