Take Action! Virtual Lobby Day Thursday!

MassBike’s virtual lobby day is tomorrow, Thursday, 3/10/11! Be a part of the National Bike Summit.

Please note, we’ve added more information for Rep. Capuano’s constituents.

This week is the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. MassBike is leading the largest-ever group of Massachusetts advocates on a mission to protect funding for bicycling in MA from the federal budget-cutting frenzy. Federal dollars pay for a wide range of things you care about: roads with bike lanes, rail trails, Safe Routes to School, and more!

This year, we’re encouraging everyone in our group to tweet updates from Tuesday to Thursday throughout the Summit, using the hash tag #nbsma.

On Thursday, March 10th, while we are visiting Congress in person, we need you to call your own U.S. Representative and both Senators and ask them continue to support federal funding for bicycling. When you call, you can use these talking points:

  • Funding For Bicycling And Walking Is At Risk We are concerned there will be efforts to strip federal funding for biking and walking in Congress either by eliminating the funding for programs such as Transportation Enhancements or Safe Routes to School, or by making funding these programs optional for states.
  • We Already Underinvest In Biking And Walking Just 1.5 percent of federal transportation dollars currently support bicycling and walking, although these two modes represent 12 percent of all trips in the United States. Bicycling and walking are growing in significance to our transportation system and yet only a tiny fraction of transportation funding is allocated to these essential and affordable modes.
  • Bicyclists And Pedestrians Make Up A Disproportionate Number Of Roadway Fatalities 14 percent of roadway fatalities are bicyclists or pedestrians. Small investments in improving roadway safety not only make our roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians but also make drivers feel more comfortable and reduce conflicts among all road users.
  • Biking And Walking Are Great Investments Bicycling and walking improvements are relatively inexpensive, highly cost-effective investments that create significantly more jobs per dollar than road repair and upgrades; they also boost local small businesses and increase real estate values.
  • Biking And Walking Help Solve Many Problems In these tough economic times, we must invest in solutions that solve multiple problems: biking and walking are low-cost transportation options that improve safety, health and air quality; they reduce dependence on foreign oil.

For Representative Capuano’s constituents: Rep. Capuano has gone on record opposing or questioning bike lanes on the Longfellow Bridge, Anderson Bridge, and other projects where he thinks it will impact motor vehicle traffic. We need you to ask Rep. Capuano to support bicycle lanes on bridges and other projects, especially when separate facilities are not possible. We need him to prioritize bike safety when tough decisions need to be made.

Here are the phone numbers for all the U.S. Representatives for Massachusetts:

District Rep Name Office Number
1 Rep. Olver, John 202-225-5335
2 Rep. Neal, Richard 202-225-5601
3 Rep. McGovern, James 202-225-6101
4 Rep. Frank, Barney 202-225-5931
5 Rep. Tsongas, Niki 202-225-3411
6 Rep. Tierney, John 202-225-8020
7 Rep. Markey, Edward 202-225-2836
8 Rep. Capuano, Michael 202-225-5111
9 Rep. Lynch, Stephen 202-225-8273
10 Rep. Keating, William 202-225-3111

Don’t know who your U.S. Representative is? Click here and enter your address to find out.

And our two U.S. Senators:

Senator Name Office Number
Senator Kerry, John 202-224-2742
Senator Brown, Scott 202-224-4543

Please don’t forget to call on Thursday, March 10th, to be part of MassBike’s National Bike Summit Virtual Lobby Day. And then leave a comment here to let us know you called!

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3 Responses to Take Action! Virtual Lobby Day Thursday!

  1. Mark Kaepplein March 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

    Mass is last on per capita fed highway funding! http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s1091.pdf
    Traffic counts don’t support 12% figure, 1% is closer. Where is your data? No data shows bike lanes safer on bridges or elsewhere. Added traffic congestion costs Mass economy and jobs vs. less congested west and south. Support and document your claims.

  2. galen March 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    so I called Rep. Capuano’s office and talked to someone about supporting legislation for bike infrastructure. I mentioned how, by improving conditions of biking and forms of transportation other than driving, we would be doing a lot to tackle carbon emissions and the national health crisis of obesity that has besieged this country. She chuckled, took down my points, and said she’d pass along to the Representative.

    Arguments that claim we need to reduce car congestion by building more roads are hilarious to me. Wherever we build freeways, wherever we build suburbs, people will drive and cars will clog the roads.

    It’s not just about safety or speed, it’s about changing the car-culture of this country, which has given us so many ill symptoms that it’s rather frightening.

  3. Rob Miceli March 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Calls have gone in to reps and senators from Cape Cod. We need to push the culture change along and cutting funding now is certainly not the right thing to do. Thanks for your willingness to be in DC and for promoting this virtual lobby.
    Rob