League of American Bicyclists

The League promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Try bicycling for a sense of outdoor freedom - May 13, 2005

Try bicycling for a sense of outdoor freedom - May 13, 2005: "May is National Bike Month, and I can�t think of a better way to embrace its objectives and enjoy the outdoors than to cruise along on a bicycle. Rising gas prices and a national trend for carrying extra body weight might be the nudge you need to dust off the bicycle that has been sitting idle in your garage."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sessions Amendment Threatens Core Bike Funding

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions is offering an amendment today, Monday May 16, which would slash funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects in the Senate transportation bill. Although the measure is not expected to pass, The League of American Bicyclists is urging its supporters to contact their Senators to ask them to oppose the Sessions Amendment (646).

A strong show of support for bicycle and pedestrian project funding will help us in the final stages of negotiation: the conference committee between House and Senate members that will convene after the Senate has passed its bill (SAFETEA). The Senate is expected to end debate on SAFETEA as early as Tuesday.

Action!
Contact your senator by e-mail, visit http://www.senate.gov/ and then go to your senator’s individual Web site to find contact information.

Background
Senator Sessions’ amendment seeks to reduce the overall funding level in the Senate transportation bill by $11bn (to bring it in line with the funding level approved by the Budget Committee on which Sessions serves) – and proposes to do it by slashing funding for two of the primary funding sources for bicycling and walking projects.

The amendment will cut funding for public transit by $5 billion, clean air improvements funded by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program by $4 billion, community building and transportation options funded under the Transportation Enhancements program by $1.1 billion, and smart transportation strategies funded under the TCSP program by $100 million. These changes and some others total $10.7 billion.

The amendment singles out these funding programs from the dozens of programs in the proposed Senate legislation, and chooses this approach over across the board cuts. This gratuitous attack on some of the core transportation programs established by ISTEA in 1991 must be soundly rejected in order to send a message to members of Congress who will be negotiating the final bill in conference committee. They need to know that cutting these programs is simply not an option.