Safety, Choice and Cycling Matter in National Transportation Bills
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's bicyclists today launched a campaign to save cycling from a series of attacks by Congress that threaten 20 years of progress in promoting bicycling and walking as energy-efficient, healthy and safe modes of transportation.
The League of American Bicyclists, in an alert to its members, warns today that Congress is about to eliminate infrastructure programs that demonstrably create jobs, improve safety, provide transportation choices, and promote the most energy-efficient of all travel modes: walking and bicycling. "This is baffling," says Andy Clarke, President of the League, "given that the highway bills being debated in Congress right now claim to be about jobs, energy, and getting America moving."
Along with their colleagues in the America Bikes coalition, the League is urging Congress to reject entirely the proposed highway bill (H.R.7) in the House of Representatives, and to support the bipartisan Cardin-Cochran amendment to the Senate bill to preserve local control over transportation funds.
The current Senate bill reduces the small percentage of transportation funding currently targeted to bicycling and walking – without reducing the cost of the overall bill – and makes it totally optional for states; the House bill eliminates this funding altogether – again, without reducing the cost of the overall bill – in an unprecedented attack on the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. "In either bill, communities lose. State Departments of Transportation have shown over the years that they simply won't let 'their' funds go to these types of projects," continued Clarke.
The League notes that:
- Walking and bicycling make up 12 percent of all trips and 14 percent of traffic fatalities nationwide – yet only 1.5 percent of Federal transportation funds are currently spent on making these two modes safer. Non-motorized travel is clean, energy-efficient, economical and healthy, and it is essential for the freedom and mobility of more than one-third of the population that doesn't drive.
- Dedicated funding to make walking and cycling safer is needed because states simply won't fund these transportation choices without Congressional leadership – they will eliminate local control over critical transportation decisions and return to the days when zero highway funds were allowed to be spent on bicycling and walking in the majority of states.
- The transportation bill is about investing finite resources on cost-effective, energy-efficient infrastructure solutions that help create jobs and keep the economy moving. Walking and bicycling infrastructure is low-cost, has a high return on investment, creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending and literally gets people, communities and our nation moving.
For further information visit www.bikeleague.org or www.americabikes.org. After you take action on these bills, register for the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. on March 20-22. This is critical event to save cycling.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.
SOURCE League of American Bicyclists