Bike and Ped Funding

26 Jan

I sent a letter to my representative on the committee, I hope you’ll consider doing so too. –Susan

Copied and reposted in its entirety from the Alliance for Biking and Walking:


By Carolyn Szczepanski on January 26, 2012

imageBy Mary Lauran Hall, Communications Coordinator, America Bikes

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.

In 1992, Congress passed ISTEA, the first federal transportation bill to include funding for transit, biking, and walking. As each consecutive transportation bill passed and continued dedicated funding for biking and walking, funding increased from $23 million for 50 new projects in 1992 to $297 million for 971 projects in 2000, to a record $1.2 billion for 3,010 projects in 2009.

But now a new transportation bill threatens to eliminate dedicated federal funding for biking and walking.

Next Thursday, February 2, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will vote on the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, a bill that eliminates crucial funds for biking and walking. Representatives on the T&I Committee are in a key position to save dedicated funding for biking and walking. If you live in the district of a T&I committee member (click here for a list), please take action today. Click here to send a message directly to your Representative through the League of American Bicyclists’ Action Center.

The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, the long awaited multi-year transportation bill, eliminates the two largest programs that fund biking and walking infrastructure — Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Without these programs, communities across the country will lose resources to build the sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make biking and walking safer and more accessible.

We can’t let that happen.

Biking and walking are essential aspects of everyday transportation in the US, and turning off federal funding for projects that keep Americans safe would represent a significant step backwards.

Federal funding for biking and walking keeps people safe. Two out of three pedestrian deaths take place on roads built with federal funding, and new sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways help end preventable deaths and make roads safer for everyone. Moreover, biking and walking make up 12 percent of all trips and 14 percent of road fatalities, but only 1.5 percent of all federal transportation funding.

We at America Bikes are working with our partners to introduce an amendment that will preserve funding for biking and walking. During Thursday’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee vote in the House, Representatives will have the opportunity to pass this amendment to save biking and walking. If you live in the district of a T&I Committee member, please take action today!

To learn more about this issue and keep up-to-date as the bill moves forward, visit http://americabikes.org/.

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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