Update: The Stimulus has passed the Senate, but without explicit funding for Transportation Enhancements (TE), which is where most bike-ped money comes from. Please contact your Senator now to keep Transportation Enhancements in the Stimulus.
Echoing former Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters’ ridicule of bike paths, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has proposed a ban on all bike/ped projects from the pending Stimulus legislation.
Please contact your US Senator now, to urge them to support bike/ped projects in the Stimulus, and to block Sen. DeMint’s amendment.
Thunderhead Alliance, the leading national bike/ped advocacy organization, has issued an action alert about this. They’ve offered a few talking points, but briefly:
- Bike/ped projects offer better direct stimulus, because labor is a higher percentage of their cost compared to other transportation projects
- These smaller projects can start more quickly, providing immediate stimulus to local economies
- When polled, Americans call for bike trails and walking paths more than for highway projects
- Better bike/ped connectivity helps the poorest members of society, by giving them transportation options that they can afford
- Bike/ped connectivity is an essential part of Safe Routes to School
- Bike/ped projects are essential in reviving troubled downtowns
Streetsblog has more about Sen. DeMint’s amendment, and other anti-bike forces in Congress.
The League of American Bicyclists (aka Bikeleague, LAB) has a page with a link for you to contact your US Senator. Please do it now.
Update: More from Rep. Earl Blumenaur (D-OR), leader of the Congressional Bike Caucus, via The Huffington Post.
Latest update from Jeff Miller of Thunderhead: “Great news that the DeMint amendment to prohibit stimulus funds going to bike and ped projects was unsuccessful – thank you to all of you who called your Senators! This also served as a good warm up for the big ask. We will be getting the public alert for you to help spread later today. We do ask that you all help get the word out as soon as the bill passes the Senate (expected to happen Tuesday…but it is the Senate and politics). Again, be looking for our alert language later today.”