Thursday, February 9, 2012

Well, in a way I guess it was kind of ironic (and fitting) that the TTAT Conference was last week considering all of the updates with federal cuts to bike facilities, etc. in the transportation bill. Our city was the perfect place to host the conference considering our advancement in active transportation and commitment to providing our residents and tourists an alternative to cars. We have come such a long way in improvements and developments to make a multi-modal city where biking is considered a feasible and vital form of transportation, but the federal bill certainly did not assist us in the efforts.  
We wanted to share an excerpt of a letter that Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists wrote last week. It gives a good summation of what exactly is at stake for bicycling in America. You will notice that many of the threatened items directly affect San Antonio and its enhancements to bike infrastructure in our city.

Moments ago, Congressman John Mica (R-FL) announced the introduction of the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. The proposed bill eliminates dedicated funding for bicycling and walking as we feared, and it goes much further and systematically removes bicycling from the Federal transportation program. 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.

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; and
  • eliminating language that insures that rumble strips "do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled."”

At this point in time, we can speak up to our local, state, and national representatives and express to them the importance of transportation enhancements, specifically with bikes. We have come such a far way to just give up the fight. Contact your representatives’ offices by email, phone, or mail, and tell them you support steps forward in our transportation developments, not steps backwards.

This is another great summary of what is potentially at stake long-term with the new transportation bill…

B-fit, B-Green, B-cycle

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