Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Federal Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects Under Attack – Call Your Senator Today

The Ligonier Valley Trail received this email today and was asked to forward the message.
Safe Routes to School supporters:
Our friends with several bicycling and walking organizations have shared a critical call to action. On September 16, Senators Coburn of Oklahoma and McCain of Arizona plan to offer amendments to the transportation appropriations bill that would eliminate funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure-including Transportation Enhancements and possibly other programs like Safe Routes to School.
Below you will find the call to action from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. If you follow the link to their website, you will find sample talking points, a link to your Senators' phone numbers, and a form to report the response from your Senators. The vote is likely to be September 16 -so we encourage you to contact your Senators as soon as possible.
Your voice is urgently needed! The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on eliminating walking and biking funds tomorrow, September 16.

Today, Senators John McCain (Ariz.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) issued two amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. If passed, these amendments would eliminate the majority of available federal funds for trails, walking and bicycling.

Amendment 2370 would prohibit the use of federal funds for pedestrian or bicycle facilities, efforts to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, or other specified Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects if the Highway Trust Fund cannot cover unfunded highway authorizations.

Amendment 2371 would allow states to eliminate spending on TE, the nation's largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling. Congress currently sets aside a portion of federal funds for TE to support these projects in all states.

Providing opportunities for Americans to walk, bike and take transit to get where they're going improves our communities' health and livability, reduces emissions, creates jobs and save money.

Please act now-call your senator and ask him or her to vote against the proposed amendments. Learn how on the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website.

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