As I’m on just about every national bicycle & pedestrian email blast, I received many yesterday with the same message: Federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects are in danger of getting cut.
Congressman John Mica of Florida, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, outlined his plans for the new transportation bill and called for the elimination of dedicated funding for biking and walking programs, which he suggested, “do not serve a federal purpose.” The congressman obviously has a skewed vision of national security. The more Americans walk, bike and teach our kids to do the same helps ween the nation’s oil addiction. The same oil addiction has lead us to countless wars and unholy alliances just to keep cars on the road. How’s that for federal purpose.
In the Senate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma is leading a similar attack. Inhofe, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said that one of his top-three priorities for the next multi-year federal transportation bill is to eliminate “frivolous spending for bike trails.” Mr. Inhofe is stuck in the “bikes are toys” mentality and doesn’t understand that bicycle and pedestrian commuting has seen a dramatic increase with the past 10 years.
Before you throw up your hands and give up, contact your 2 U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and let them know that you want bicycle, pedestrian and Safe Routes to School funding in the next federal transportation bill.