Thursday, February 02, 2012

Bike/Ped Amendment Loses by a Hair (A Thank You To Those Who Pulled And Voted For It)

In this morning's markup of the Transportation bill, the amendment to restore the Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements program proposed by Reps Petri (R-WI), Johnson (R-Ill) and Lipinski (D-Ill) lost by two votes (27-29) after a heated debate and trashing by Chairman John Mica.

Two Republican Congressmen who sit on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee surprised us by their votes. Congressman LoBiondo (NJ-02) voted in favor, something we were not expecting, and Congressman Meehan (PA-07) voted against. Mr. LoBiondo was the only Republican to vote in favor of the amendment who wasn't a co-sponsor.

We pulled out all the stops by encouraging constituents, small businesses, and local officials to call and write to Congressmen Meehan and LoBiondo. We're gratified that Mr. LoBiondo listened to his constituents, but supremely disappointed that Mr. Meehan did not.

It's a sad day for us all to have a Congress so opposed to road safety and sustainability. Stripping TE and SRTS won't reduce the deficit and only hurts those projects that help calm traffic and provide more transportation choices to all users.

So what happens next? According to America Bikes, the Republican leadership in the House wants the Transportation Bill to be voted on by the full House before the next recess begins in late February. Other committees will take their shots at the bill tomorrow and next week, and the bill could be up for a vote in the full House of Representatives the week of February 13th.

Thanks are due to Reps Petri, Johnson, and Lipinski for their leadership and to America Bikes, League of American Bicyclists, Rails to Trails, T4America, and Alliance for Biking and Walking for waging a great effort to restore these programs.

A special thanks to everyone who wrote and called Congressmen LoBiondo and Meehan.

Lastly, thank you Congressman LoBiondo for becoming Delaware Valley's newest bike/ped hero.


Dave said...

The funniest part is that one of the pictures Meehan has on his congressional site is in a bike shop. Go figure. So much for encouraging jobs.