Here we go again. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are now meeting to hammer out a final transportation bill. As I reported previously, the House bill eliminated funding for bicycle and pedestrian safety projects (along with dedicated funding for mass transit). Some described the vision of transportation embodied by the bill as a throwback to the 1950s. The Senate, on the other hand, preserved funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects as well as transit. The House eventually passed a temporary extension of the previous law, but now negotiations have begun on a new, long term bill.
Please take a minute to visit the League of American Bicyclists blog and send a message to your representatives encouraging them to support the Cardin-Cochran agreement. According to the League, “This agreement was part of the Senate bill passed two months ago with bipartisan support. It allows local governments and school systems to access much-needed funds to make bicycling and walking safer and more accessible, in response to local needs.”
The particularly crazy thing about eliminating the bike-ped funding is that, even at its highest levels in recent years, it was still less than 2% — that’s TWO PERCENT — of federal transportation spending, while biking and walking make up 4% of all trips. And that number is growing due to the money already spent on such projects in cities all over the country. Communities that have used federal as well as state and local money to install bike infrastructure also confirm that the economic and social the bang for the buck is much greater than road projects. The cost of one highway bridge would pay for great bike infrastructure all over Richmond.
Thanks for your support!