Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Make your voice heard. These people work for YOU!


Support Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects in the Economic Recovery Bill

The House and the Senate (61-37) have each passed their own version of the Economic Recovery Bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), aimed at creating jobs and stimulating the economy. Both bills include billions for transportation infrastructure, but only the House bill includes funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects in the Transportation Enhancements program. The House bill includes approximately $1.35 billion for Transportation Enhancements of which 50-60% is traditionally spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects. The Senate bill does not explicitly include Transportation Enhancements, so it is unclear whether this funding will be in the final bill. Note: Senators' attempts to bar funding for bike/ped projects failed.

We need to make sure Transportation Enhancement funding is in the final bill.

In the next few days, there will be a conference committee where several members of the House and several members of the Senate will work together to reconcile the two bills. Conferees need to hear that Transportation Enhancements are important to stimulating the economy, creating green jobs, and moving the U.S.A. towards a sustainable future.

APBP urges APBP members who can to call your Senators and Representative and ask them to tell the Conferees to support Transportation Enhancements in the Economic Recovery bill.

Tell them:

* Bicycle and pedestrian projects create jobs at the same or better rate than highway projects. (Check out APBP's new Career Center where you can advertise jobs.)

* These smaller projects can move quickly to hire local businesses and help local economies.

* Providing safe and convenient bicycle and pedestrian access gives families new cheaper and transportation options.
* Improving sidewalks and bike lanes can make a downtown a destination, further helping the local economy.
* Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure also helps the economy by offering greater energy independence, less pollution, and a healthier United States.

All members of Congress need to hear from APBP members. This will give America Bikes a running start for integrating bicycling and walking into the next transportation bill expected out in 2009-2010. The following senators and representatives are particularly worthy of your time:

Senate conferees are Senators Inouye, Baucus, Reid, Cochran, and Grassley.

House Democratic conferees are expected to be Speaker Pelosi and Representatives Obey, Hoyer, Clyburn, Frank, Gordon, Miller, Oberstar, Rangel, Spratt, Towns, Velasquez and Waxman.

If you don't know who your elected U.S. Representative or U.S. Senator is, visit http://takeaction.lwv.org/lwv/directory/congdir.tt

For those wishing to take action through America Bikes' coalition member websites, visit

* http://www.americabikes.org/take-action/
* http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/national/45755
* http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikeadvocacy/
* http://support.railstotrails.org/site/PageNavigator/2009_Feb_recovery_action_main
* http://www.thunderheadalliance.org/site/index.php/site/memberservices/calling_all_bicyclists_and_pedestrians_please_take_action_today/
* http://www.apbp.org/ (APBP's new website does not yet feature a take action page.)

Make a difference today. Thank you!

Kit Keller

Executive Director

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals

PO Box 93

Cedarburg, WI 53012


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