House Bill Erases Two Decades of Progress on Bike-Ped

By Carolyn S on February 01, 2012

It’s so much worse than we thought.

Yesterday, the House released its transportation bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. We expected the bill to be bad news for biking and walking, but we didn’t think it would go so far as to reverse all progress we’ve made over the past 20 years. (Check out the Top 10 Reasons the House Bill is Bad for Bicycling and Walking from Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, on the right.)

If your member of Congress is on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, please take action TODAY. With a vote coming in the T&I committee TOMORROW, tell your Representative to preserve biking and walking. Click here to contact your Representative through the League’s Action Center.

House leadership is exerting pressure to completely cut bicycling and walking out of transportation. Lawmakers seem to have gone through the bill, line-by-line, to gut programs that make streets safer. The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act:

  • Destroys Transportation Enhancements by making the program optional
  • Repeals the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school
  • Removes requirements for states to build bridges with safe access for pedestrians and bicycles
  • Eliminates bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs

There’s still a chance to save biking and walking. Tomorrow, in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI) and Timothy Johnson (R-IL) plan to stand up to leadership by offering an amendment that restores dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Petri and Johnson can only be successful if everyone with a stake in safe sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways contacts his or her Representative today.

This is as urgent as it gets. Even if we win this amendment, there will be a long road ahead. But if we lose here, we risk losing decades of progress.

If members of the Transportation Committee are going to stand up to House leadership by supporting biking and walking, they need to know their constituents are behind them. Please contact Congress TODAY and ask your Representative to preserve dedicated funding for biking and walking.

Take action NOW!

If you have a Representative on the T&I committee, please forward this action alert to your members and supporters. Pass it along to all your local partners — particularly high-level contacts like mayors, school board members, and business leaders — and ask them to weigh in, too. And thank you for all you do to advance biking and walking!

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