Advocacy Mattersby Stewart Prather, VP Advocacy
As this is being written, it appears that the headway cyclists had made in obtaining a small slice of the transportation dollar is in great danger of being lost. The fruits of this 30-year effort are just beginning to ripen but unless you help now, we are headed back to the days when cycling and pedestrians were simply not considered whenever transportation issues were considered.
What am I talking about? Voted out of subcommittee just before the Congressional August break, a new congressional transportation appropriations bill will eliminate some $600 million worth of annual federal funding for bike facilities, walkways, and other such alternative transportation projects in fiscal year 2004.
The bill will entirely eliminate the funding ó unless you and many other cyclists create such a stir that the Enhancements portion is reinstated into the bill. The House will act on this bill when Congress returns in September.
Supporters of the bill argue that, in light of huge federal deficits, something has to go, but for bike activists and environmentalists who have been pushing for decades for alternatives to driving, the cuts are a giant step backward.
Bicyclists must fight for reinstatement of the Enhancements portion of the federal transportation bill currently under review for renewal in Congress. If you've ever thought of making your voice heard but were waiting for someone else to speak on your behalf, the waiting is over. We need you to speak up now on behalf of the nation's bicycling community!
Adventure Cycling has posted detailed information on its Web site which provides much more information than this article allows. Please check out the following and write or call your representative. They really do listen to voters. If you donít take time to contact your representative, they will listen only to the ones they have already heard from ó the road builders.
Whether this cut sticks depends in large part on you. Think to yourself, Iíll follow up on this tomorrow and we know what happens. Tomorrow never comes and you will forget until it's too late. Congress will act on this soon. Call or write today! Please.
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web posted: 14 July 2003
last updated: 7 August 2003