Back in March 2010, we invited Massachusetts bicyclists to join us for a Virtual Lobby Day in support of an exciting piece of legislation to fund bicycling and walking infrastructure improvements, H.R. 4722, the Active Community Transportation Act. Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano was one of the original sponsors of the bill, but we wanted support from the rest of our delegation. Your emails and phone calls had an immediate effect, with Rep. Edward Markey and Rep. James McGovern immediately signing on as co-sponsors. With your help, we kept up the pressure, and Reps. William Delahunt, Barney Frank, Steven Lynch, John Tierney, and Niki Tsongas all signed up as co-sponsors, making Massachusetts a national leader on this issue (see how we stack up here).
Now, eight out of ten of our Congressional Representatives support the ACT Act. Only Representatives Neal and Olver are not co-sponsoring the bill. Chairman Olver leads the Appropriations Committee, so he cannot sponsor this funding bill, but Representative Neal can, and we need your help again to convince him. If you live in Hampden, Hampshire, Norfolk or Worcester counties, click here and enter your address to check if Rep. Neal is your Congressman.
If Rep. Neal is your Congressman, please call his office at 202-225-5601 and ask him to co-sponsor the Active Community Transportation Act (H.R. 4722) introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.
When you call, you can use these talking points:
- Bicycling and walking are part of the solution. Half of all trips in the United States are three miles or less, yet the majority of these short trips are made by car. Shifting more of these short trips to biking and walking would not only reduce congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and our dependence on oil, but will also improve physical activity, safety, and livability.
- Investing in bicycling and walking infrastructure works. Commuting by bicycle has increased 43 percent since 2000 – and by 69 percent in designated Bicycle Friendly Communities that have invested in infrastructure improvements.
- MA is a leading supporter of this bill, with eight of our ten Representatives already co-sponsors.
MassBike is partnering nationally with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Campaign for Active Transportation to make sure federal funding for bicycling and walking infrastructure is a major part of the next transportation bill.