Update: September 15, 2011: A “clean” bill passed by a large majority. This is great news!
This year, around $700 million of Federal transportation funds, which is less than 2 percent of total transportation dollars, will be spent on bicycling and walking (this despite the fact that walking and biking account for 13-14% of trips throughout the nation). In 2012 that figure might be a big fat zero.
Please contact your Senators TODAY and let them know you support continued funding for biking and walking.
In the next few days, Senator Coburn will ask Congress to eliminate the federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program – the primary funding source for the past 20 years for bike lanes, trails, bike racks on buses, bicycle and pedestrian safety education etc. TE funding helps makes our streets safer for children to walk or bike to school; more accessible for the elderly and people with disabilities; and less congested by helping make alt. modes real transportation options. Cutting this funding isn’t safe or smart; it’s not good for the safety of everyday people; it’s not good for the economy or the environment; this is bad health policy and bad transportation policy. But the senate will try because they don’t think bicycling and walking matter.
Even though bicycle and pedestrian projects create more jobs per dollar than highway-only projects and cutting enhancements won’t impact the deficit – the money just won’t be spent on bicycling – some Members of Congress want to force us backwards to a 1950s highway-only mindset: as if oil embargoes, congestion, smog, the obesity epidemic and climate change never happened.
Now is the time to save biking and walking. So, we are asking you to contact your Senator and urge them to support continued funding for biking and walking. Don’t let them take away this vital investment program for smart, sustainable, safe transportation choices.