Tuesday, January 31, 2012

House to Eliminate Dedicated Funding...

Direct from Safe Routes to School National Partnership: 

It’s so much worse than we thought. Today, the House releases its transportation bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. We expected the bill to be bad news for bicycling and walking, but we didn’t think it would go so far as to reverse allprogress we have made in the past twenty years.

The House Transportation Committee will vote Thursday, February 2, on whether to approve this bill or amend it to include bicycling and walking programs. Take action now—tell your representative to restore bicycling and walking in the Transportation Committee.

Why the urgency? House leaders are exerting pressure to completely cut bicycling and walking out of transportation. Lawmakers seem to have gone through line-by-line to gut programs that make streets safer. Some of the more devastating provisions in the bill include:

  • Destroys Transportation Enhancements by removing the dedicated funding;
  • Repeals the Safe Routes to School program, leaving communities without basic tools and funding to protect kids on the trip to school;
  • Allows states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles; and
  • Eliminates bicycle and pedestrian and Safe Routes to School coordinators in state DOTs.
But there’s still a chance to save federal bicycling and walking funding. This week, Representative Petri (R-WI) plans to offer an amendment that restores dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Rep. Petri can only be successful if you and everyone else with a stake in safe sidewalks, crosswalks and bikeways contact their Representatives today.

This is as urgent as it gets. If members of the Transportation Committee are going to stand up to House leadership by supporting biking and walking, they will need to know their constituents are behind them. Please contact Congress today and ask them to preserve dedicated funding for biking and walking.

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