Two calls to action — one for everyone and the other for those in Michigan specifically — and a story that is equal parts absurd (in that Kafka sort of way), tragic, infuriating, and more.
From the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Most if not all of you have likely seen this already, or have been made aware of it through some other channel. Nevertheless, I’m posting it here to increase its dissemination in whatever small way I can.
This is not a time to build [bike paths]. If we are going to invest in infrastructure, invest in infrastructure that actually makes the economy more efficient, such as roads that are needed.
-Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009
Comments like those above are misguided. Please act now for active transportation funding.
Along with others, like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who offered an amendment to prohibit funding for walking and bicycling, Sen. Ensign does not realize that more trails means people walk and bike more and drive less. This translates into less congestion, healthier people, a healthier planet, more money available to our communities, and much, much more.
Moments ago, the U.S. Senate passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. Unlike the House of Representatives’ version of the bill, the Senate did not explicitly fund Transportation Enhancements (TE), the nation’s primary funding source for active transportation.
However, the Senate and House will work to reconcile their differences “in conference” over the next few days.
We must convince the Senate to protect TE in conference.
Please go here to get started.
This is exciting, because we know we can make an impact: After more than 15,000 of us signed Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s (RTC) petition to Congress and the president to explicitly fund active transportation in the recovery package, the House allocated $1.35 billion for TE.
Please give a few minutes of your time—I promise, together we can make a difference.
Thank you so much.
Vice-President of Policy,
From the League of Michigan Bicyclists
Calling All Bicyclists! Please Take Action Today!
Thanks to calls from bicyclist advocates like you, the Senate refused to hear an amendment that would have blocked any Economic Recovery Bill money from being spent on biking and walking infrastructure projects. Now we need EVERYONE’S HELP to make certain that there is strong support for Transportation Enhancements $ for biking and walking in the final bill!
Support Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects in the Economic Recovery Bill!
The House and the Senate have each passed their own version of the Economic Recovery Bill, aimed at creating jobs and stimulating the economy. Both bills include billions for transportation infrastructure, but only the House bill includes funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects in the Transportation Enhancements program. The House bill includes approximately $1.35 billion for Transportation Enhancements of which 50-60% is traditionally spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects. The Senate bill does not explicitly include Transportation Enhancements, so it’s unclear whether this funding will be in the final bill.
We need to make sure Transportation Enhancement funding is in the final bill.
This week there will be a conference committee where several members of the House and several members of the Senate will work together to reconcile the two bills. Conferees need to hear that Transportation Enhancements are important to stimulating the economy, creating green jobs, and moving us towards a sustainable future.
CALL TODAY! To get contact information for your Members of Congress, please visit http://thenation.capwiz.com/thenation/directory/congdir.tt. Simply type in your zip code to identify your Representative and two Senators. Click on the photo of each member, then click on the “contact” tab for phone numbers.Please call your senators and representative and ask them to tell the Conferees to support Transportation Enhancements in the Economic Recovery bill. Tell them:
- Bicycle projects create jobs at the same or better rate than highway projects.
- These smaller projects can move quickly to hire local businesses and help local economies.
- Providing safe and convenient bicycle access gives families healthier and cheaper transportation options.
- Improving bike lanes can make a downtown a destination further helping the local economy.
- Better biking options also help ensure greater energy independence, less pollution, and a healthier United States!
Thank you – together we will make a big difference!
Finally, in the category of “WTF?!?!,” the Chicago Tribune reports that on Tuesday evening, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 40-50 teenagers brutally attacked a 50-year-old man riding his bicycle and beat him unconscious. If that weren’t bad enough, the Kalamazoo police, despite having witnesses who provided them with details of the attack, have no suspects! Are you kidding me?!