Local officials are worried that a federal program that pays for safe walking trails for children on their way to school will be cut.
Next week House and Senate lawmakers will meet publicly for the first time to negotiate differences on a long-term transportation bill. The legislation funds highways and transit programs, but it also includes money for the Safe Routes to School program. That initiative has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve bike paths for school children.
In an interview with WAMU 88.5, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood lashed out against Republicans who want to trim the program.
"It's an important safety program, just like the transit safety program is, and it's one of our top priorities," says LaHood. "I can't even conceive that they would eliminate the money to get children safely to school."
The House and Senate negotiators are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to work out a long-term transportation bill.