Thursday, March 10, 2011

FABB is headed to Capitol Hill

VA bike advocates meet with Zack Fields of Congressman
Connolly's office last year.
Today we'll be meeting with Fairfax Congressional representatives to discuss continued funding for the Transportation Enhancement program, Safe Routes to School, and the Recreational Trails Program. Allen Muchnick of the Virginia Bicycling Federation has scheduled meetings with all Virginia legislators, including Congressmen Moran (8th Dist.), Wolf (10th), and Connolly (11th). We'll be representing Fairfax cyclists at these meetings.

See the article in today's Post, Bicycle advocates lobby Congress with jobs pitch:
The cyclists want continued dedicated funding for three key federally backed programs: a $117 million program to develop safe routes that promote walking and biking to school by children; a program that builds and maintains recreation trails; and funding for bicycling and pedestrian projects.

Their first objective is to preserve those programs in the cost-cutting debate over the 2011 federal budget, and then to see them maintained in the long-term transportation funding bill that may be considered this year.

They are armed with statistics that show that 1.5 percent of federal transportation dollars are spent to support biking and walking while 12 percent of all trips are on two feet or two wheels.
With an increased emphasis on reducing funding for federal programs we'll be making the argument that investing in bicycling is cost-effective. A study conducted in Baltimore showed that bike projects put more people to work than road projects. And in Portland, Oregon for the cost of 1 mile of highway they’ve built a world-class bicycle network with a high percentage of daily trips are taken by bike. It costs 22 times more to build the infrastructure needed for new car trips vs. new bike trips.

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