Key Congressional leaders are attacking Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements for dedicated funding for walking and biking. Please act NOW!
Key Congressional leaders are attacking Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails and are taking steps to cut off dedicated federal funding for walking and biking. Please act NOW!We need every single person who wants safe options to walk or bicycle to contact their Senators and Representative today at this link sponsored by Safe Routes to School National Partnership! Just click here, and put in your zip code and the names of your congressional delegates will appear with a message you can send to them. It’s that easy to act to protect dedicated funding for walking and biking.Read on for more information: House Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-FL) announced today that his transportation bill will eliminate dedicated funding for bicycling and walking, including Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreational Trails Program, and discourage states from choosing to spend their dollars on these activities that are “not in the federal interest.” Chairman Mica’s statement that these programs remain “eligible” for funding is worthless; without dedicated funding for these three programs, they are effectively eliminated.Things on the Senate side are not much better. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the lead Republican negotiator on the transportation bill, declared that one of his TOP THREE priorities for the transportation bill is to eliminate ‘frivolous spending for bike trails.’ This is in direct conflict with Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) commitment to maintain dedicated funding for biking and walking. However, the Senate is working towards a bi-partisan solution, and Senator Inhofe’s comments mean funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs is at risk of total elimination. Help protect Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails. Contact your Members of Congress and tell them to reach out to Senators Inhofe, Boxer, and Congressman Mica to urge them to continue dedicated funding for these important bicycling and walking programs.
Do you need some good facts to further bolster your argument?Not in the federal interest? Biking and walking make up 12 percent of all trips in the US, even as funding for biking and walking projects only accounts for 1.5% of the federal transportation budget. That is more traffic deaths happen when children are walking or bicycling and are struck by cars. Walking programs build sidewalks, crosswalks and improve accessibility and save lives.The FactsWalking and biking are important forms of transportation, and funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements is a very efficient use of federal transportation dollars. These projects create jobs and build local economies. Building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure creates 46% more jobs than building road-only projects per million dollars spent. Cities that invest in pedestrian and bicycle projects turn their communities into destinations, and capitalize on increased local business activity.Eliminating the 1.5% of transportation funding spent on pedestrian and bicycle improvements would have no meaningful impact on the federal budget, but would decrease transportation options for American families in a time of rising gas prices and an uncertain economy.Why Act Now? Both the House and Senate long-term transportation bills are being written as we speak. We still have a chance of influencing the outcomes. Let’s make sure that funding for biking and walking programs don’t disappear for many years. We need every Senator to tell Senators Boxer and Inhofe that bicycling and walking are vital parts of our transportation system, and that there must be dedicated funding for sidewalks, bike lanes and trails to ensure that people who go by foot or bike are safe. And we need every Representative in the House to tell Chairman Mica the same.
Please contact your Senators and Representatives TODAY to tell them that bicycling and walking are a critical part of a safe and equitable transportation system. Ask them to tell Representative Mica and Senators Boxer and Inhofe that a federal transportation bill must continue dedicated funding for bicycling and walking.