Last week, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee released its proposed six-year transportation bill, which would cut funding to critical bicycle and pedestrian programs such as Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. These programs have been essential in improving bike safety around the state. The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program has provided $2.4 million for bike and pedestrian infrastructure at schools since 2007, and over 1,200 students participated in SRTS bike safety courses in Spring 2011 alone. The second important funding source, Transportation Enhancements, has been used for multi-use paths, rail trails, and other improvements around the state – over $15 million in bike and pedestrian investments since 2005.
The current proposal would not only eliminate dedicated bike and pedestrian funding, but also cut overall federal transportation spending levels by 33% and reduce federal transit funding by 34%. At a time when our roads are crumbling, trains and buses are breaking down, and communities struggling to build bike and pedestrian facilities, this proposal will erase decades of progress. We need you to call your representative and senators and urge them to preserve dedicated bicycle funding.
When you call, you can use these talking points:
- Funding For Bicycling And Walking Is At Risk We are concerned that this proposal will lead to the elimination of funding for programs such as Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School.
- 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 produce 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.
All of our representatives and senators expressed support for bicycling when we visited them in Washington, DC, in March for the National Bike Summit. Now more than ever it is important to remind the Congressional delegation to step up and defend these programs and current funding levels. Please contact your Congressional Representative asking that they maintain dedicated bicycle and pedestrian funding in the transportation bill. 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||Contact Rep. Olver|
|2||Rep. Neal, Richard||202-225-5601||Contact Rep. Neal|
|3||Rep. McGovern, James||202-225-6101||Contact Rep. McGovern|
|4||Rep. Frank, Barney||202-225-5931||Contact Rep. Barney|
|5||Rep. Tsongas, Niki||202-225-3411||Contact Rep. Tsongas|
|6||Rep. Tierney, John||202-225-8020||Contact Rep. Tierney|
|7||Rep. Markey, Edward||202-225-2836||Contact Rep. Markey|
|8||Rep. Capuano, Michael||202-225-5111||Contact Rep. Capuano|
|9||Rep. Lynch, Stephen||202-225-8273||Contact Rep. Lynch|
|10||Rep. Keating, William||202-225-3111||Contact Rep. Keating|
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||Contact Sen. Kerry|
|Senator Brown, Scott||202-224-4543||Contact Sen. Brown|
Take action and stand up for bike/ped programs and restoration of funding to transportation!