U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), lead sponsors of a critical amendment in the Transportation Reauthorization bill, S. 1813, that reforms the Transportation Enhancements program, released the following joint statement after final passage of the Transportation Conference Report:
"Transportation enhancement projects improve economic development, quality of living and air quality. They help reduce traffic congestion, providing children with safe routes to school, and give communities more affordable transportation options. We are pleased that the core structure of the transportation enhancements program has been preserved, particularly the requirement for local access and local control of these important transportation funds. While we would have liked to have a better funding formula and broader local access to Transportation Enhancement resources, we believe that the final outcome is positive for American communities."
For decades the Transportation Enhancements program has provided financial support for counties and cities to address local transportation needs. Local transportation and planning authorities often understand the transportation needs of their communities better than officials at the State level.