Recent Attacks on Transportation Enhancements
The federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program is the largest U.S. funding source for trails, walking, biking and historic preservation. Since 1992, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has carefully monitored and supported TE funding across the nation.
In 2006, states were required to return more than $3.8 billion in transportation funds to Congress (through "rescission orders"). Many states chose to do this by drastically cutting their TE programs. In sum, a full nine months of TE was cut in 2006 alone — more than $600 million.
In 2007, two more rescission orders were issued. In response to the March 19 rescission order for $3.47 billion, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy issued an action alert, asking you to e-mail your governors to protect TE. States cut TE by almost $200 million — one-third the amount cut in response to a similar rescission in 2006. Thank you for writing your governors.
When a June 20 rescission order was issued for $871 million, many of you called your state transportation departments, voicing your concern that TE might be further targeted. This time, states cut $47 million from TE. Thank you, again, for defending TE.
(If you did not receive these opportunities to advocate for TE, sign up here.)
In total, in 2006 and 2007, states cut nearly $850 million from TE, representing more than an entire year's worth of TE funding.
Although TE receives 1 to 2 percent of all transportation funds annually, it bore the brunt of more than 10 percent of rescissions in 2006 and 2007.
Read more on why the Transportation Enhancements program is important here, or read this guide of TE case studies.
You can also search here for projects near you funded by Transportation Enhancements.
The map below displays the number of years of TE budget cut by each state in 2006 only. To see a detailed breakdown of TE cuts by state for 2006 and 2007, go here.
Dark red: Your state returned the equivalent of several years' worth of its TE budget in 2006 alone.
Light red: Your state returned the equivalent of more than one year's worth of its TE budget in 2006 alone.
Pink: Your state returned the equivalent of a significant portion of a single year's TE budget in 2006 alone.
No color: Your state did not return any of its TE funds in 2006.