Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday is a good day to email Harrisburg

Earlier this week, we asked you to take action to support a comprehensive transportation funding bill in Pennsylvania. Because we have fallen so far behind in the basic maintenance and replacement needs of our aging infrastructure, the cost of inaction has reached $1 million a day. Today is a crucial day for passage of that bill and the House needs to hear from you again.

The Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition has brought together every part of the transportation system -- from public transit to rail freight, from highways and bridges to biking and walking -- in an unprecedented effort to create a 10-year transportation funding plan that covers all modes. The Senate passed a bill that adequately addressed the needs of all those modes, including biking and walking.

The House is now debating what level to fund the transportation bill and is discussing significant cuts to the $2.5 billion annual funding that the Senate passed. We need to tell members of the House, and the Governor, that we support funding transportation at $2.5 billion annually.

Think of transportation infrastructure repairs like fixing leaks in a roof -- it costs much less to repair those leaks early on than to replace your roof and repair water damage to the floors below when the roof finally falls in. And only fixing half the leaks -- by not funding the repair fully -- does not fix the problem.

The repair bill for infrastructure will continue to go up exponentially if we do not act now.

As a citizen of Pennsylvania, this matters. But bikers and walkers need to be even more concerned. If PennDOT is struggling to fix the most basic infrastructure problems, they will not have the resources to address the needs of bikers and walkers. In contrast, with a new bill we get a new Bicycle and Pedestrian office at PennDOT that will be looking out for the needs of bikers and walkers in every PennDOT project.

Unfortunately, the House isn't getting it.  They passed a bill out of committee that is far short of the Senate's $2.5 billion and we need to make sure that they hear from us today, when debate on the House floor picks up again in an unusual Sunday session.

Please email your House Representative and let him/her know that you want them to vote in favor of a comprehensive transportation bill that funds all modes of transportation at $2.5 billion.  Nothing less will do.

Hearing from you (repeatedly) makes a difference.  Send a quick email today.