Help Us Set The Record Straight
Bicyclists are “freeloaders” on the federal transportation program.
That’s a claim we’ve been hearing for years. We’ve been blamed for everything from collapsing bridges to a bankrupt Highway Trust Fund. The scale of bicycle and pedestrian spending in that federal transportation program has been consistently and deliberately misrepresented by people that want to kick us out of the program all together.
They’ve been trying for years — and we have always been able to rebuff them and preserve a critical source of funding for better biking and walking. Well, they are back and they are armed with new misinformation — and this time we are being treated on a par with squirrels. Seriously, squirrels.
A coalition of 50 “business” groups is calling for bicycling, walking and transit to be kicked out of the federal transportation program entirely — rather than raise the gas tax by a few cents a gallon. Led by the Heritage Foundation, op-eds are being placed in newspapers around the country saying that anywhere between 16% and 33% of the Highway Trust Fund is spent on “non-highway purposes,” like bike paths and squirrel sanctuaries. The truth is that only 1.5% of those funds are spent on bicycling and walking — activities which account for 12% of all trips nationwide and 16% of all traffic fatalities each year.
Why is this important now?
Because 100 days from now, the federal transportation law expires and the Highway Trust Fund goes broke. Unless Congress acts. And in that Congress, there are 74 brand new members of the House and Senate who haven’t heard any of this before.
We need your help to set the record straight and make sure Members of Congress understand the value of investing in bicycling, walking and transit. The single most effective way to inform members of Congress and their offices — according to Congressional staffers themselves — is by visiting their office here in Washington, D.C., to let them know your views on the subject.
That’s why the National Bike Summit is so important. Register for the Summit today, and we’ll set up your meeting, give you the talking points, and walk you through the process of a successful meeting with your Congressional offices. After 15 years experience, we know it works, and we know what makes it work.
Please help us set the record straight for bicyclists.
In a new Congress, where one in seven members are serving for the first time, we can’t afford to take a chance they’ll know the issues. Eliminating bike funding might seem like a great cost-cutting measure — putting a tax on bikes or bike tires might sound like a great way to have cyclists pay their way — if you don’t know any better. Our job, with your help, is to make sure Congress does know better. Join us.
(Photo by Brian Palmer)