Gomez Bill to Expand Equitable Outdoor Access Passes House as Part of Historic Infrastructure Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) voted to pass the INVEST in America Acta historic, transformational investment by House Democrats in our nation’s transportation and infrastructure. A version of Congressman Gomez’s bill, the Transit to Trails Actwas included in this package, along with $21.6 million in infrastructure funding for projects in California’s 34th Congressional District.

The Transit to Trails Act creates a grant program to fund projects that make transportation to green spaces and public lands more accessible for critically underserved communities. Upon passage, Congressman Gomez issued the following statement:

“Today, with the passage of the INVEST in America Act, House Democrats delivered on our promise to transform our nation’s infrastructure and make generational investments toward fighting climate change. In addition to securing over $20 million for local projects in my district, my legislation to help underserved communities gain equitable access to outdoor public spaces, the Transit to Trails Act, was also included in this historic package. I’m proud to have worked alongside my colleagues to craft this infrastructure proposal and look forward to it uplifting our communities with sustainable and environmentally-just solutions.”

"As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need the benefits of a health thriving planet and direct connections to nature more than ever," said Jackie Ostfeld, Sierra Club's Outdoors for All Campaign Director. "Right now, that's inaccessible to too many people, and for some, the barriers begin before they get out the door. The Transit to Trails Act is an important step towards making sure that access to our public lands, from our national parks, to our forests, rivers, and neighborhood green spaces, isn't only available to those who own a car."

"Access to nature is a critical resource that for too long has been denied to people across the country," said Sharon Musa, Policy and Recreation Partnerships Fellow at The Wilderness Society. "The same Black and Brown communities that disproportionately suffer higher levels of air and water pollution frequently deal with a lack of neighborhood parks and green space. We celebrate this milestone, moving the Transit to Trails Act forward, as a step toward improving the health and well-being of millions of people. The greater access to nature this legislation provides can help foster community cohesion, improve childhood development, and even reduce the carbon emissions and traffic noise associated with dependence on personal vehicles to reach green spaces."

Included in the INVEST in America Act is $21,640,000 for six transportation and infrastructure projects in California’s 34th Congressional District, including the following:

  • East Los Angeles Community Mobility Project: $800,000 to help improve mobility in East L.A. around I-710N;
  • TRI-CONNECT SoCal Freight Initiative: $3,360,000 to develop and deploy advanced Connected Vehicle and Cooperative Intelligent Transportation System (C-ITS) technologies along the corridor between the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the Inland Empire;
  • Highways to Boulevards Project: $480,000 to study and identify urban highways that can be converted into city streets or boulevards;
  • Link Union Station Project: $5,000,000 to convert Union Station to a run-through tracks station and expand the passenger concourse;
  • L.A. Streetcar Power Utility Relocations Project: $2,000,000 to enhance Downtown Los Angeles’ power grid and to relocate utility units to construct the L.A. Streetcar, and
  • Vermont Transit Corridor Improvements Project: $10,000,000 to improve north-south transit service along the Vermont Transit corridor.

To learn more about these projects, please click here.

The Transit to Trails Actintroduced by Congressman Gomez in the 116th and 117th Congress, takes an equitable approach to help communities nationwide with the highest need for better sustainable public transportation options, make access to public lands, waterways, parks, and greenspaces more affordable and accessible for all. To learn more about this bill, please click here.

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