URGENT: Federal Funding for Biking and Walking Under Attack
By Carolyn S on July 07, 2011
Dedicated funding for biking and walking has been cut in the transportation proposal from the U.S. House of Representatives.
John Mica, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, would eliminate critical Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails programs — programs that Mica referred to as “not in the national interest.” Chairman Mica’s statement that these uses 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, a lead negotiator in the Senate debate, 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 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 bicycling and pedestrian programs is at risk of total elimination.
We need every single person who simply wants safe options to walk or bicycle to contact their Senators and Representative TODAY! We ask all Alliance member organizations to engage your members to make these calls as well.
Thanks to our partners at the League of American Bicyclists, you can direct your members to use the LAB Action Center to send message to their members of Congress.
Not in the National Interest?
These projects also 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 bicycle and pedestrian projects turn downtowns into destinations, and capitalize on increased business activity.
Finally, shifting 1.5% of transportation spending has no impact on the federal budget, but instead, decreases transportation options for American families in a time of rising gas prices and an uncertain economy.
Help Protect Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails. Contact your Representative and Senators, and tell them to reach out to Senators Inhofe, Boxer, and Congressman Mica to urge them to continue dedicated funding for these important biking and walking programs. We need every Senator and every Representative to speak out for walking and biking.
Your Next Steps
Tags: us senate, us house of representatives, transportation enhancements, safe routes to school, recreational trails, federal transportation bill, federal funding
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