Action On Beacon Hill And Victory On Capitol Hill

The MassBike office has been busy for the past several weeks with action not just in the State House, but also in the Capitol. We wanted to not only give you an update, but also ask for your support as we work toward better biking in Massachusetts. Read below for how you can help.

State Bike/Ped Funding – Action Needed

300205_10151369205828111_1944896303_nMassBike, in partnership with WalkBoston, has been working to organize the Bike/Walk Summit on Thursday, April 11th. This year, we have five pieces of legislation that would make the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Additionally, we will be asking participants to support the Governor’s Transportation Plan, and specifically the $430 million dedicated to bike/ped facilities. To register, click here.

In the meantime, there is a coordinated effort this week being led by Transportation for Massachusetts (of which MassBike is a member) to let the legislature know that investing in our transportation system is essential. While their focus is on transportation broadly, we urge our members to specifically reference support for the $430 million set aside for biking and walking infrastructure. MassBike Executive Director David Watson kicked things off by testifying at the transportation bond bill hearing at the State House on Monday, where he urged the members of the Joint Committee on Transportation to fully fund Massachusetts’ transportation needs, including biking and walking.

Here is how you can take action now:

  1. Join in on the Transportation Day on the State House steps on April 2. If you can’t make the Bike/Walk Summit on April 11, or if you want to have your voice heard on broader transportation issues, then this is a great opportunity.
  2. Email your legislators using this simple template.
  3. Call your legislators and tell them you support adequate transportation funding, including funding for biking and walking. If they are supportive, ask them to express that support to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President. Phone numbers can be found here.

Victory On Capitol Hill

bike_capitol_smallWhen we were in DC for the National Bike Summit, we weren’t able to meet with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation due to a snow storm. Despite that setback, we have been keeping in close touch with members of Congress and their staff. This has recently paid off by the news that more than half of Massachusetts’ US Representatives signed on to a letter to USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood asking that USDOT establish performance goals for reducing bicyclist fatalities.

Please send a thank you email to these US Representatives if you live in their districts:

Things are only going to get more hectic as the transportation funding debate comes to a head in the State House, and as the current federal transportation authorization nears its expiration in 2014. As always, we depend on you, our members and supporters, to make sure that bicyclists aren’t forgotten in these discussions – thanks so much for your hard work.

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