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Action Alert! Save Federal Funding for Biking!

May 30, 2012

One of the best ways to support cycling as a viable transportation alternative is to ask our legislative representatives to do the same. Yesterday we received an email from our friends over at BikeTexas asking us to help save Federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. We’re asking everyone to take action and contact Senator Hutchinson asking her to please continue her support of this invaluable funding. Additionally, if you are a constiuent of one of the three Texas Representative on the committee with Senator Hutchinson making these important decisions, please contact them as well.  BikeTexas’s email, reproduced below, has contact information for each of the Texans on the committe as well as suggested langauage for your call or email.

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Right now, a select committee of 34 Congressional representatives and senators is meeting to decide the future of America’s transportation system.

What emerges from this high-stakes conference can shape federal policy for decades. Do you want America’s transportation system to continue including bicycling, walking, and trails? Or should we revert to an outdated and inefficient system that only funds highways?

Earlier this spring, BikeTexas asked you to let to your elected leaders know the importance of bicycling to their communities, and you responded.

After hundreds of Texans wrote and called Senator Hutchison, she responded by throwing her support for an amendment to the Senate’s transportation bill that preserved key funding for building connected urban trails, bike lanes, and sidewalks, as well as Safe Routes to School programs for kids. The Senator’s support was crucial, and that bill, called MAP-21, eventually passed the Senate.

The House tried to pass a transportation bill that nearly eliminated all funding for biking and walking, and thanks to your efforts, we prevailed and that bill died on the floor, resulting in a clean extension of the existing federal transportation bill.

Now, the House has brought another version of the bill to committee that would undo years of progress towards making America’s next great transportation system, and the only chance we have to continue building great places to bike and walk is to call and write our Texas committee members.

Three core federal programs – Transportation Enhancements, Recreational Trails and Safe Routes to School – are fundamental to developing bicycling and walking infrastructure in communities all across Texas.

Our elected leaders need to know that dedicated federal funding for trails, walking and bicycling is essential to America’s transportation future.

Right now, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, America Bikes, and our other national partners are sending similar messages urging all Americans to contact their representatives and senators on this committee, and we urge you to do the same. 

Three Texans are on this conference committee – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Representative Ralph Hall (R-Rockwall), and Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas). Each of them has been supportive of dedicated funding for biking and walking in the past.

What you can do:

Contact Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

The Senator speaks for all Texans and has been a powerful supporter for biking and walking.

Your phone call or email to Senator Hutchison should:

Thank the Senator for her support of biking and walking and ask that she stand strong for Texans by continuing to support the provisions of the Cardin-Cochran amendment to MAP-21 that preserve dedicated funding for biking and walking.

Phone: 202-224-5922

Email: Click here

If you are a constituent, Contact Rep. Ralph Hall

Rep. Hall’s district includes Rockwall, McKinney, and Texarkana. Click here to see if Rep. Hall represents you.

Your phone call or email to Rep. Hall should:

Thank the Representative for his past support of biking and walking and ask that he continue to support dedicated funding for biking and walking in the conference committee’s transportation bill.

Phone: 202-225-6673

Email: Click here, enter your zip, then click the email icon next to Rep. Hall’s name.

If you are a constituent, contact Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

Rep. Johnson’s district includes Dallas. Click here to see if Rep. Johnson represents you.

Your phone call or email to Rep. Johnson should:

Thank the Representative for her past support of biking and walking and ask that she continue to support dedicated funding for biking and walking in the conference committee’s transportation bill.

Phone: 202-225-8885

Email: Click here, enter your zip, then click the email icon next to Rep. Johnson’s name.

Here’s a sample script to use for your phone call or email:

     Dear Senator [Full Name] / Representative [Full Name],

     Thank you for your past support of biking and walking as part of America’s transportation system. 

     As a member of the transportation conference committee, your work could shape federal policy for decades and it’s absolutely vital that you help protect dedicated federal funding for trails, walking and bicycling. 

     In particular, please stand up for Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and the Recreational Trails Program. These programs are essential to developing bicycling and walking infrastructure and trails in communities all over Texas.

     I urge you to protect these vital components of our transportation system for the health and economic vitality of our state. 

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Thanks everyone for all you do to support biking and walking in Texas! As always, please let BikeTexas know when you write or call your legislators, and be sure to send them whatever response you receive.

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