Crucial Walking and Biking Funding on the chopping block.
Next Thursday, February 2, the national House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will vote on the House transportation bill, which will eliminate crucial funds for Safe Routes to School and other projects that support walking and biking across the nation. Because Washington state is represented on the Transportation Committee, you are in a key position to influence this vote and to save dedicated funding for walking and biking. Will you contact your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives today and ask them to vote to preserve walking and bicycling?
The House transportation bill, called the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, is expected to eliminate the two largest programs that fund walking and biking infrastructure—Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School. Without these programs, communities all over the country will lose resources to build the sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make bicycling and walking safe and accessible in communities across Washington state. We can’t let that happen. That’s why our partners at the National Center for Safe Routes to School, America Walks and the Alliance for Biking and Walking are working to introduce an amendment that will preserve funding for walking and biking. During next Thursday’s vote, our representatives could be the key to making sure that this amendment passes in the Transportation Committee.
Please contact them today to ask that they vote to preserve funding for bicycling and walking in the transportation bill. Tell them:
- Walking and biking make up 12 percent of all trips, but only 1.5 percent of federal funding.
- One-quarter of children’s traffic deaths happen when they are walking or bicycling and are struck by cars.
- Safe Routes to School funds help ensure funding for critical sidewalks, crosswalks and safety infrastructure to protect children and prevent unnecessary deaths. In Washington the demand continues to grow for this program. For 2012-13, Washington State Department of Transportation was only able to fund 29 projects vs. the 124 applications received from 97 agencies and organizations across the state. Obseity rates are on the rise in our state and this program that has had success at increasing the number of kids walking..a step in the right direction to curb this disturbing trend we need to invest in programs that are working.
- When town centers are walking and biking friendly, business and economic development improves.
Thank you for all that you do to keep walking safe and accessible for everyone.