Friday, June 22, 2012

Bring Biking and Walking Funding Back from the Brink

It appears that the House-Senate conference committee is making a last ditch effort to get the Transportation bill done by June 30th. If they emerge with a bill for a vote by Tuesday, it will be an up or down vote with no amendments. While this is good news for almost everyone who has been waiting for three years for this bill, it is not good news for those interested in biking and walking. We've been alerted this morning by our DC colleagues that biking and walking funding are at serious risk.

As part of a possible deal within the Conference Committee, the rumor is that the conferees may be compromising the amendment (the Cardin-Cochran amendment) that would allow communities to have access to funds that build biking and walking infrastructure and even allow state DOTs to opt of the program that is dedicated to biking and walking.

We are being asked to help send the message to conferees: Maintain the Cardin-Cochran agreement and ensure that Transportation Alternatives not allow states to opt-out of local control over local transportation projects, including biking and walking improvements.

Can you take a moment to call your Senators and Representative and let them know that you want them to tell the transportation conference committee to preserve the bipartisan Cardin-Cochran agreement? This agreement ensures that communities will have access to funds to build biking and walking infrastructure.

Use this phone script to call your two Senators and Representative. You can call the Capital Hill switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to their offices.

If you have any friends or family who live in California, forward this post to them.  Senator Boxer needs to hear from her constituents that she should NOT give up biking and walking funding.

Local projects that need federal transportation funding in our region include trails that are part of the Circuit, gaps in the Schuylkill River Trail and the East Coast Greenway, the new ramp on the Camden side of the Ben Franklin Bridge and many others.