Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is scheduled to testify, Thursday, in Washington on federal funding for projects such as bike lanes, trails and greenways.
Indianapolis used federal funds for the Cultural, Monon and Fall Creek trails, and for the Illinois Street and Capital Avenue bike lanes.
Ballard will testify in front of a U.S. Senate Committee on the money’s impact and spokesman Marc Lotter says the Mayor is asking Congress to reconsider the Transportation Authorization Bill.
"A locality will use some of their own transportation dollars or private sector dollars and then the federal government will match it," said Lotter. "That is basically what the Mayor is going to be asking, that the Congress continue to provide those funds, but also keep them in the hands of local governments rather than state governments, so local city leaders can use those things to help enhance their city."
John Mills of Cummins points to the Cultural Trail as one reason the company announced plans, Wednesday, to locate its distribution headquarters downtown.
"We like the fact that it's up against the Cultural Trail," he said on the proposed complex. "We are very focused on environmental sustainability as a company and health and wellness, so that was an attraction."
Lotter says this is exactly the kind of impact the city expected when it spent federal money for the project.
"When you talk about the growth in Indianapolis, I think that points the Senate and hopefully points lawmakers to seeing the value in these things, that they are not just concepts, that they are actually working, it's actually drawing visitors, drawing attention to our city and hopefully other cities will want to follow suit," he said.
Ballard’s testimony is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m.