California Senator Barbara Boxer has been in the spotlight to save funding for bicycling and walking in the next transportation bill – but not because she ever wanted it to go away.
Senator Boxer has been fighting for a lot of core programs and policies in the current transportation program – not just bicycling and walking funds – that are in the cross-hairs of some pretty extreme Senate colleagues and House leadership going into the transportation bill conference committee. As the process reaches a[nother] conclusion this week, we certainly need her and other key Senators such as Baucus, Hutchison, Durbin, Murray, Schumer and Menendez to hang tough and stick up for the bipartisan Cardin-Cochran agreement to reserve bike/ped funding. If your Senator is listed above, click here.
But we should not forget that we really want the likes of Representatives Cantor, Mica and Boehner to end their mindless attacks on the few small programs that genuinely offer choice and local control when it comes to transportation and transportation investment.
We saw their true colors when the House transportation bill crashed and burned under the weight of opposition to a bill that would have turned back the clock 50 years or more. We shouldn’t be happy that they now just want to turn the clock back 20 years and eliminate any opportunities to invest in safer bicycling and walking, real congestion relief projects, and more livable communities where getting stuck in traffic isn’t the only option.
There are a few key members of the conference committee who can stand by Senator Boxer and stand up to the extreme policies of the House leadership – find out who they are here. Hopefully they know that 83% of the American people, across party lines, across geographic and demographic lines, agree with the simple idea that there is a place for funding bicycling and walking projects in the Federal transportation bill at current levels or even higher.
It’s our job to make sure they know!
Andy Clarke was appointed to the position of Executive Director in April of 2004 after successfully leading efforts to create, interpret and implement the various transportation programs that are available to improve conditions for bicycling and walking as the League’s State and Local Advocacy Director. Before joining the League in February 2003, Clarke was on contract to provide technical assistance to the highly regarded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center on site at the Federal Highway Administration. He is on the Board of Directors for America Bikes, and a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals.