“For the past 20 years, the federal transportation program has included dedicated funding for biking and walking. Over the course of twenty years and three federal transportation laws, federal support for bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure projects has slowly ticked upwards. As a result, more and more communities feature safe roads for people who travel on foot or by bicycle.” ~ Mary Lauran Hall, Communications Coordinator, America Bikes
On Thursday, February 2, the House Transportation Committee is expected to vote on the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, a bill that would eliminate crucial funds for biking and walking. Your representative, as a member of the Committee, is in a key position to vote to save dedicated funding for biking and walking. Please contact them today and ask them to vote to preserve biking and walking.
“Biking and walking are essential aspects of everyday transportation in the US, and eliminating federal funding for projects that keep Americans safe would represent a significant step backwards.”
The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, the much-debated, long-awaited multi-year Transportation bill championed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), eliminates the two largest programs that fund biking and walking infrastructure—Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Without these programs, communities all over the country will lose resources to build the sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make biking and walking safe and accessible in our communities.
We can’t let that happen.
Boston has recently been ranked first in the nation for the number of residents who bike and walk to work and school. A new report published by the non-profit Alliance for Biking and Walking shows that Boston has the highest number of commuters who bike and walk within the largest U.S. cities. Boston also has the lowest number of fatalities in that demographic. In addition, Boston ranks in the top third of cities for safety, education, advocacy capability, and mode share. This in large part to the tremendous efforts of Boston Bike Czar Nicole Freedman in Mayor Menino’s office, MassBike, People for Bikes, and the Boston Cyclists Union. Yet Boston is in the bottom third of cities for funding and policies regarding biking and pedestrians.
That’s why the League of American Bicyclists is working to introduce an amendment that will preserve funding for biking and walking. During Thursday’s vote, your representative could be the key to making sure that this amendment passes in the Transportation Committee. If you live in Boston in Representative Mike Capuano’s district, you need to contact him, as he is a high-ranking member of the committee, and he could be the key to making sure that a pro-biking amendment passes. Will you ask him today to vote to preserve funding for biking and walking in the transportation bill?
If you live in another district, be sure to use the above link to find your representatives and contact them today to ask that they vote to preserve funding for biking and walking in the transportation bill.
- Biking and walking make up 12 percent of all trips, but only 1.5 percent of federal funding.
- Two out of three pedestrian deaths take place on roads built with federal funding. Ensuring funds for sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways help end preventable deaths and make roads safer for everyone.
- When town centers are biking and walking friendly, business and economic development improves.
And because a picture paints a thousand words, show them this:
Picture – Share of commuters who walk and bicycle in 50 states.
Thank you for all that you do to keep bicycling and walking safe and accessible.
Link to Media Fact Sheet from PeoplePoweredMovement.org
Link to Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report