Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs. If you walk, run, or ride a bike, this should be of concern to you since these programs help ensure that roads are designed with greater attention to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians. Without these programs, these basic modes of transportation, exercise, and outdoor enjoyment will become increasingly dangerous. New cyclists, young runners, and people just starting to heed the need for more activity are likely to be discouraged because there will be fewer safe routes.
There will be a vote in the Senate next week, and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin is sponsoring an amendment that could restore much of what’s been lost. North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is considered a key vote on this issue. In 2009, Senator Burr not only supported — but actually co-sponsored — a bill to fund Safe Routes to School, which funds programs to improve bike/pedestrian access to schools. The House version would completely zero that out, along with 100% of all bike/pedestrian funding.
Senators do pay attention to communications they receive from their constituents. We urge you to please contact Senator Burr and let him know that bicycle and pedestrian programs are essential for the type of communities we all want to live in. If you can speak to your specific personal or business considerations, so much the better.
You can read a summary of the Cardin amendment here: http://www.ncbikeclub.org/Cardin_amendment_summary.pdf
You can contact Senator Burr in two ways, via phone or his web site.
Senator Burr’s Washington office: 202-224-3154
Senator Burr’s Winston-Salem office: 800-685-8916
To contact by email, click here: http://burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
Several groups are trying to organize an action blitz on Thursday, February 9th, but if you miss that date, please take a moment to contact him anyway. Make your voice heard. This really is too important to not take action.