Updated 11/2/2011: Thanks to all who took action on this one! The amendment was defeated!
It’s happening again, folks. Another US Senator is attacking Transportation Enhancements funding. This time it’s Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. He has offered an amendment that will strip all funding for Transportation Enhancements and shift it to bridge repair.
Please contact SenatorsPatty Murray and Maria Cantwell and ask them to vote against the Paul amendment (SA-821) to eliminate Transportation Enhancements. The Senate is expected to finalize its Transportation appropriations bill on November 1, so please take action quickly.
Jeff Miller of the Alliance for Biking and Walking stated in a message:
We agree on the need to keep our bridges safe, but the lives of pedestrians and cyclists are important too. Thirteen people died when the Minneapolis bridge collapsed in 2007. Since then, close to 20,000 pedestrians and 2,800 cyclists have died on our nation’s highways, largely as a result of poor highway design and a lack of safe non-motorized infrastructure – exactly what the enhancement program was created to fix.
If Sen. Paul’s amendment is successful, it would eliminate approximately $700 million in federal funding for FY2012 that is used to construct sidewalks, bike lanes, bike paths, trails and other infrastructure that makes it safe for bicyclists and pedestrians to get around. Even if every penny of these funds is diverted to bridge repairs, Senator Paul’s plan will still take 80 years to fix the backlog of bridge repairs we have today — by which time all those repaired bridges would be falling down again.
Please use this link to the League of American Bicyclists Action Center to contact Senators Murray and Cantwell today.