The November 2010 elections are fast approaching, with much at stake for many of the policies and initiatives important to the League and the wider bicycling community. That’s why it is important to make sure your voice is heard. Please check out our election center to research election information for your state.
In the two years of the 111th Congress, an unprecedented level of activity has been generated around bicycling and active transportation issues. As the 111th Congress draws to a close, we provide an overview of that activity here.
Also, before the elections check out the three topics below. These issues are important for cyclists to consider before they hit the election booths. If you still have the opportunity to attend a candidate forum or talk to your candidate, ask them about one or more of these.
1. In March 2010, at the National Bike Summit, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a bold new policy statement that this is the “end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized transportation”.
Question: How would you work in Congress to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into our national transportation system?
2. Communities around the country have built many miles of streets and roads that are unsafe for people traveling by foot, bicycle or taking transit. These roadways often lack sidewalks, crosswalks, space for bicyclists, and make no provision for transit riders or people with disabilities.
Question: If elected to Congress, would you support inclusion of a Complete Streets policy in the next transportation bill? Such a policy would require transportation agencies to routinely design and operate the entire right of way with safe access for drivers, transit users and vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as older people, children, and people with disabilities.
3. A 2007 national transportation poll (page 18) found that Americans would like to see 22% of federal transportation funds—about 15 times current levels—invested in walking and bicycling. Currently, this figure is just 1.5% (primarily from the Transportation Enhancements program), despite the fact that bicycling and walking make up more than 10 of all trips and 13% of fatal crash victims.
Question: Walking and biking deliver substantial benefits to economic development, public health, energy, security, mobility and the environment, making active transportation one of the most strategic and cost-effective Federal transportation investments available. If elected to Congress would you support concentrated, focused federal investments to build active transportation systems?
Make sure you get to the polls this November and bike the vote!
Director of Advocacy, League of American Bicyclists
Finch joined the League in 2006 and has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry. He worked as a government relations associate with G.S. Proctor & Associates, served as the chief of staff for a member of Maryland’s House of Delegates, and worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation as the Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary, Office of Intermodalism.