Congress threatens to end ALL dedicated bike/ped funding

Mark Wyatt
Iowa Bicycle Coalition
***Congress threatens to end ALL dedicated bike/ped funding – contact your Senators and Representative today!***
House Transportation Chairman John Mica announced today that his proposed long-term federal transportation bill will eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking — including Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreation Trails Program — referring to these programs as “not in the national interest.”
Things on the Senate side are not much better. Senator James Inhofe, a lead negotiator in the Senate, declared that one of his top three priorities for the transportation bill is to eliminate “frivolous spending for bike trails.”  Senator Inhofe’s comments mean funding for bicycling and pedestrian programs is at risk of total elimination.
Not Transportation?
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’s more than 4 billion bicycle trips and 40 billion walking trips a year — including trips to work, school, shopping and for recreation and tourism.
Bicycling and walking programs build bikeways, walkways and other facilities for millions of Americans, improving access and saving lives.
The Facts
Biking and walking are important forms of transportation (and recreation and tourism). Funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements is a very efficient use of federal transportation dollars.  Portland, Oregon built a city-wide bike network for the cost of one mile of highway.
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.
Finally, eliminating 1.5% of transportation spending would have a very small impact on the federal budget, but instead decrease 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 representatives in Congress, and tell them to reach out to Senators Inhofe, Boxer, and Congressman Mica to continue funding for biking and walking.
Why Now?
Both the House and Senate long-term transportation bill are being written right now.  We still have a chance of influencing the outcomes.  Let’s make sure that funding for biking and walking programs doesn’t disappear for many years to come.
Click on the link below and contact your Senators and Representatives TODAY and tell them that continued dedicated funding for bicycling and walking is a must.  It is a critical part of a safe, accessible and effective transportation system.
Use this link now, provided by our friends at the Safe Routes to School Partnership. This is the same alert that is being used by all of our friends at America Bikes:

for your help – it will take just 5-10 minutes and make an important difference!