Almost one dozen biking and walking projects across the state of Rhode Island are in jeopardy after a state agency decided to transfer $27 million in federal money dedicated to active transportation to highways and administrative expenses over the next 10 years.
The money represents about 33 percent of the tiny pool of funding the Rhode Island Department of Transportation receives from the feds for walking and biking.
The state blamed the changes on a state law that requires roads to be in a “state of good repair.” “We must use our limited funds for vital safety concerns [like] structurally deficient bridges,” the agency said in a statement.
Rhode Island bridges have been ranked worst in the nation. But they’re hardly the most immediate safety threat. In the last decade, 127 people have been killed while walking in the Ocean State and 10 were killed while biking. Zero people have been killed by falling bridges.
The Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition said the state has increased spending for a highway interchange project in Cranston, House Speaker’s Nicholas Mattiello’s district, as well as to add some highway tolling infrastructure. In addition, RIDOT also wants to double the amount of money it spends on “legal” expenses, for reasons that are unclear. (The agency has not responded to Streetsblog).
Click here to read the full article: https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/01/31/rhode-island-looting-biking-and-walking-funds-for-highways/