Governor Patrick is finally taking on the state’s transportation crisis in the upcoming legislative session. With the state’s ambitious mode shift goals and GreenDOT Implementation Plan both strongly supportive of biking and walking, we were anxiously waiting to see if the Governor’s funding proposal reflected these priorities. In other words, would the state put its money where its mouth was? Well, it appears that Governor Patrick is trying to do exactly that:
The funding plan proposed by Governor Patrick includes a significant increase in funding for biking and walking, dedicating $430 million over the next ten years. Click here for the full plan.
We like the Governor’s bold move to fix our broken transportation system, and think it will provide better transportation for everyone in Massachusetts, whether you bike, walk, drive, or take transit. There is going to be much wrangling between the Legislature and the Governor about where the revenue will come from. Governor Patrick has proposed a 1% income tax increase (softened by a 0.75% sales tax decrease). It is likely that the funding plan and the revenue proposals will change as the Legislature considers the whole package.
We will work hard with the Legislature and our allies at Transportation for Massachusetts to make sure that funding for bicycling actually does increase to meet the state’s (and our) ambitious goals to get more people on bikes. However, a strong, unified voice from people across Massachusetts will be needed to see this plan become reality.
Here is how you and your friends can help:
- Read the plan or the summary.
- Email your legislators (look them up here) as well as House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray (see below for sample text).
- Express your support on Facebook and Twitter. Forward this message to your friends and family.
- Receive bulletins from MassBike and Transportation for Massachusetts by signing up for our email lists.
- Submit a letter to your local paper, comment on articles on-line, or call in to talk radio. There will be people who do not see the value of investing in biking and walking, and they need to hear from you!
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know who you’ve contacted.
Sample text of email to your legislator:
I support investing in our transportation system and I am writing to ask you to do the same.
Massachusetts needs a long-term strategy that will fix what’s broken, reduce delays and congestion, and make our cities and towns healthier and more prosperous.
I use the transportation system every day. I want to know that it will work when I need it—that roads and bridges will stay open, that the trains will run on time, that the roads will be safe for bicycling, and that we can build the walking and bicycling trails that my community wants.
We have some hard choices, but you can make sure that we get a fair blend of revenues and modernizations that add up to the $1 billion investment that we need.
Thank you for your attention, and your action.