Advocacy Alert: Preserve Local Bike/Ped Funds

From the League of American Bicyclists:

Take Action: House Aims to Eliminate Local Funds for Biking & Walking

The U.S. House and Senate are negotiating right now to produce a final federal transportation bill and 20 years of progress on biking, walking and Safe Routes to School could be eliminated.

If you follow this link you can send a message to your representative in support of the Cardin-Cochran agreement that will preserve funding for alternative modes of transportation. The link provides you with more information about the issue, and also a form letter to send to your representatives. Just enter your zip code, and it will get the information to the right people.

For more effective advocacy, add your own information to the letter, and keep it brief. Use the “SEE ME” feature to include a photo and a brief blurb about why this issue is important to you. Follow it up with a phone call, for real impact.

Here’s more information about the Cardin-Cochran Amendment, from the League of American Bicyclists:

With the acceptance of the Cardin-Cochran amendment, here is how MAP-21 would work if it becomes law:

  • Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails are consolidated into a new program called Additional Activities.
  • State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) will make their Additional Activities funding available to metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and local governments.  Here’s how they’ll allocate the funds:
    • The state DOT will allocate 50% of the Additional Activities, based on population, to MPOs and rural areas. MPOs will then distribute the funds through a competitive grant program for projects in their communities.
    • For the remaining 50% of Additional Activities, the state DOT would host its own competitive grant process for projects. Local governments, school districts,  and others would be eligible to compete for this funding.

If it becomes law, this legislation would ensure that local governments and communities have a voice in the transportation decisions that affect their streets. The safeguards included in MAP-21 would ensure that communities of every size benefit from making their own localized transportation decisions for safe streets.

This is not an issue just of bicycling rights. This is an issue for economic freedoms, children’s safety, and opportunities for women. This is also an issue of local control, rather than State politics – wouldn’t you prefer that your city have some say over what roads are bike and pedestrian friendly, rather than people at the Capitol who possibly don’t even KNOW where your city is?

Please, take action today.

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