The Winooski Bridge outside of Burlington, Vermont is a "Transportation Enhancement."
One of the numerous advocacy outfits I support, the Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC), has just let me know that Republicans worked hard to keep any funding at all for walking and cycling out of the stimulus bill. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina offered an amendment (defeated) to prohibit such funding. Senator John Ensign of Nevada chimed in:
Guess he doesn't want to encourage people to move more and drive less by providing safe and attractive trails, leading to healthier people and a healthier planet.
The House version of the stimulus did include $1.35 billion for what in Washingtonese are called "Transportation Enhancements," trails and bikeways. The RTC lobbies in particular for those delightful -- and readily developed -- graded paths that can be made on old railroad right-of-ways.
Though the Senate version just passed didn't include the Republicans' prohibition, it didn't explicitly include funds that could be used for non-motorized transportation. The centrist Democrats figured this was a throwaway.
If you care about walking, running or cycling, it's time to get on the horn to your Congresspeople and Senators and get this fixed in committee -- "Transportation Enhancements" mean a more pleasant, healthier country. And talk abut "shovel ready"! This one is easy.