Today’s Headlines for Friday, October 7

  • Safe Roads Amendment Would Help Save Funding for Non-Road Projects (Active Trans)
  • Four Traffic Laws Motorists Should Follow Every Day (Active Trans)
  • Legislators Are Looking to Crack Down on Long-Vacant Storefronts (Curbed)
  • How CDOT Deals With Abandoned Bikes (PEW Trust)
  • A Refresher About Etiquette on the CTA (CBS)
  • Leave This Stunt to Chance the Rapper: Man Rides on Outside of CTA Car (Chicagoist)
  • Keating Bike Law Needs Temporary Admin/Receptionist (This Guy Need Not Apply)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Re: The “Safe Roads [Constitutional] Amendment” – I dislike the idea of locking funds. Sometimes there are priorities other than transportation that the state may need to take care of. Our legislators, and governor, rarely have the right priorities about transportation, but restricting funding via a constitutional amendment about where certain monies can be spent seems like a solution in search of a problem.

    The other part I don’t like about this is the text of the amendment itself. How do I know that everything that should have been considered and listed as a possible spending destination is there? I don’t want to pass this amendment and then find out that the wording is such that money can’t be spent on a certain transportation project. Then the IL Supreme Court would have to decide.

    Everything Active Transportation Alliance said in their blog post is right, to the best of my knowledge, but I’m skeptical that the state constitution should be amended for this.

  • Pat

    Roads and highways already get the lions share of funding, and while this is a bigger pot, who’s to say they still won’t get the most money. I want more money for transit and active transport, but I don’t necessarily want more money for unnecessary highway spending.

    Ideally would like to see some “fix-it first” language in there.

  • BlueFairlane

    There’s a reason we do budgets every year and not just the one time. Tying momentary expenditures to a permanent constitution is a bad, bad idea.

  • rohmen

    California is a pretty great cautionary tale as to why it’s best to avoid codifying funding levels through propositions or constitutional amendments. it sounds great and theory, but will be a mess in practice in 10 years.

  • what_eva

    I get that Active Trans has their hearts in the right place on this, but I think they should look at who is joining them in supporting the amendment. Road builders. Giving huge support. Sometimes you should be scared of whose side you’re on and I think this is one of those cases.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Look at the bright side, if school funding responsibilities codified in our state constitution can be legally side-stepped by the state supreme court, not much reason to assume this wouldn’t meet a similar fate.

  • Alicia

    I like how we do it in Michigan. Any time a spending increase is on a popular referendum (usually at the city or county level, but every so often there will be a statewide one), the referendum specifies there will be a tax increase to pay for the budgeted expense in question. We don’t do spending allocations without finding the money for it at the same time.