Congress Needs to Hear from Everyone who Rides a Bike — Again
We are close to a milestone. Eight days from now will mark the 1,000th day since the federal transportation authorization bill, SAFETEA-LU expired. You can track the progress at Transportation for America‘s website. That means it’s been three years since we’ve had long-term stability for sound, comprehensive, multi-modal transportation planning. It also means it’s been three years that we’ve been asking you to take action and tell Congress how important bicycling is to your community.
You may well have responded to our calls to action more than once. Your Congressional delegation may well already know your position on cycling issues. And, for that, we thank you.
But, by now we know that this campaign isn’t about a single day or a single vote. This is the fight about the future of transportation in America and we have to counter each threat or bicycling will be swept off the negotiating table — maybe for good. There are folks in Congress who want to cut bicycling all together — despite the fact that 83 percent of Americans want funding preserved!
Make no mistake, YOUR action has kept biking in the bill thus far. Please take action today or the hard-fought progress of the past 20 years could be lost!
The process has been long, complicated, and, yes, frustrating. The last transportation bill expired in 2009 and, since then, has continued only thanks to a series of short-term extensions. RIGHT NOW, the House and Senate are negotiating a longer-term bill. The Senate’s bill includes the Cardin-Cochran agreement, which preserves the 20-year history of funding for locally-directed bike and pedestrian projects. The House wants to make our programs entirely optional, leave all the decisions up to state departments of transportation, and strip away the last vestige of local control.
The League is committed to building a Bicycle Friendly America — and we’ve made great progress in that direction. We could NOT have done it without crucial federal transportation funds that are NOW AT RISK. If communities lose access to these funds, it will be a dramatic major setback.
Yet again, cycling is on the brink. You can save it — just like you have in the past. Please take action today in support of the Senate bill, and the Cardin-Cochran agreement.
Please share this alert with everyone you know who cares about safe, healthy, livable communities. Thank you!