Good morning , fellow travelers. Normally, I keep you informed of legislation at the local and state levels affecting us as human powered vehicles. However, there are currently at least two bills in Congress worthy of note.
The first is HR199, The Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Improvement Act. This bill provides for low cost guaranteed loans from the Dept of Transportation for projects that would make the lives of those of us walking or pedaling better. It allows for new projects, improvements to existing projects, or projects that will tie together two (or more) other projects to create a more cohesive network. In Omaha, this would include things like the South Omaha Trail. While it does require matching of 51% of the project’s overall cost, it gives states, cities, counties, etc. a source of funds for completion.
The second bill is HR4104 – The Bike to Work Act of 2015. Short and sweet, it defines bike share as a means of public transport. Often used as last mile transportation, this bill would allow dues and other costs of membership or use of bike share to be included in the commuter deduction/allowance on your Income tax 1040. A small step perhaps, but still a step forward.
Both bills are still in committee, so you have time to contact your Congressperson and let them know you want these to become law.