The League of American Bicyclists, a great organization in Washington, D.C., that advocates for bicyclists and walkers, is warning this week about a piece of legislation introduced in the House of Representatives that eliminates dedicated funding for bicyclists and walkers and, going even further, removes bicycling from the federal transportation program.
If approved, this legislation will GUT laws and programs protecting cyclists and reverse decades of progress. This is VERY BAD for bicylists!
The legislation, introduced by Congressman John Mica, R-Fla., is called the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, and you can read more about it here on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee website.
The League, on its blog, said the bill reverses 20 years of progress by:
- Destroying Transportation Enhancements by making it optional.
- Repealing the Safe Routes to School program, reversing years of progress in creating safe ways for kids to walk and ride bicycles to school.
- Allowing states to build bridges without safe access for pedestrians and bicycles.
- Eliminating bicycle and pedestrian coordinators in state DOTs.
- Eliminating language that ensures that rumble strips “do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled.”
The League adds the following comment: “It basically eliminates our status and standing in the planning and design of our transportation system — a massive step backwards for individuals, communities and our nation. It’s a step back to a 1950s highway- and auto-only program that makes no sense in the 21st century.”
Now is the time to get involved! On Thursday, two other House members will introduce amendments to restore dedicated funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School.
All Americans have a stake in this legislation. We all want safe paths, bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks and bikeways. Contact your local House member and urge that legislator to support the amendments!
Please act now!
Here are the top 10 reasons to oppose the legislation.
You can go here to find your local representative and send them an urgent message. I urge everyone in Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers to speak up today!
Thanks for reading!
James B. Reed
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)