Safe Routes to School

February 9, 2012 kidsandnature Legislation

Reprinted from SRTS email:

Double Your Impact—Act Now on Key Senate and House Transportation Votes 

It’s time to ask every Senator and every Representative to save Safe Routes to School.

 

The current Senate transportation bill dilutes Safe Routes to School, walking and bicycling programs. It gives your state DOT the power to decide whether or not to make any funding available for these critical programs.

 

To improve the bill, we’re asking senators to vote for the Cardin-Cochran amendment on the floor to guarantee local governments a voice in transportation decisions, allowing them to build sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that keep people safe.  This vote will take place early next week, so please take action now!

 

In the House, we are asking Representatives to oppose the House transportation bill. Despite the fact that walking and bicycling infrastructure is a low-cost investment that creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending, the House bill eliminates dedicated funding for walking and bicycling and repeals the Safe Routes to School program.

 

Will you contact your Representative and Senators today and ask them to save our streets?  By taking action, you can easily contact both your Senators and Representative in one simple step.

 

 

 

And, if you want to do even more, get your mayor, your school principal, or other community leaders to call their Senators too.

 

Background

As written, the Senate’s transportation bill removes dedicated funding for walking and bicycling and allows state DOTs to opt out of spending any money on safe street programs. The Cardin-Cochran amendment would improve the bill by ensuring that local governments can apply directly for funds to build walking and bicycling infrastructure. We believe:

  • Local governments deserve a voice in transportation. The Cardin-Cochran amendment ensures that cities and counties have a voice in making transportation decisions for safer streets in their communities.
  • Safety matters. Bicycle and pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic fatalities, but only 1.5% of federal funds go towards making walking and biking safer. These programs provide funding for sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make streets safe for all users.
  • Active transportation is a wise investment. Walking and biking infrastructure is low-cost, creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending, and is critical to economic development for main street America.

 

On the other side of Congress, the House is about to consider a transportation bill that reverses twenty years of progress in making streets safer for people. Despite the fact that walking and biking make up 12% of trips but receive only 1.5% of federal funding, the House bill eliminates dedicated funding for walking and bicycling. It’s time to defeat this bill because:

  • HR 7 takes us back to the 1950s. HR 7 takes us back to the 1950s by eliminating dedicated funding for bicycling and walking AND kicking transit out of the highway trust fund. We need a transportation bill to meet our needs in 2012 and beyond.
  • HR 7 doesn’t invest wisely. Federal transportation laws should invest our finite resources in cost-effective, efficient infrastructure solutions that create jobs and keep the economy moving. The House bill eliminates walking and bicycling, despite the fact that walking and bicycling infrastructure is low-cost and creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway funding.
  • HR 7 makes streets more dangerous for kids. By repealing the successful and effective Safe Routes to School program, the House bill makes the streets more dangerous for kids on trips to school.

Congress needs to know that finding effective, efficient transportation solutions to keep people safe on the streets should be a national priority. Please contact your representative and senators today.

 

 

 

Thank you for all that you do for Safe Routes to School!

 


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