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371 Mayors To Congress: We Want Bike/Ped
In May of this year, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) invited Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R) to testify in front of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) on the importance of local control over the Transportation Alternatives Program -- a program that funds bicycling and walking projects and other local priorities.
We knew Mayor Ballard would give persuasive testimony about the Indianapolis Heritage Trail and the economic development boost and transportation benefits the project and other bicycle projects have brought his city. He did not disappoint. Not only did he make an impression on the Senators, but he made an impression on the other witnesses, too.
Before long almost every witness went off script to talk about the benefits of bicycling and walking projects in their states and cities. St. Landry, Louisiana, Parish President William Fontenot even stated that delivering these small projects helped restore trust in government (and will convince people to vote for funding for transportation). You can watch the testimony at the EPW website.
Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) ended by stating that Transportation Alternatives was a critical element of the transportation bill and she asked Mayor Ballard to help her protect and promote the program by creating a sign on letter for Mayors. The letter, circulated by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, is the result of that request.
Boxer delivered on her promise to protect and improve TAP.
(Photo of Mayor Ballard by Brian Palmer)