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Transportation Enhancements Under Attack ...
The federal Transportation Enhancements (TE) program is a major source of funding for bicycle facilities and programs in cities and communities across the country. On March 19, 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a rescission order implementing Congress' call for the return of an additional $3.47 billion in transportation money. Within 30 days, governors across the country will have to decide how to apply this cut to state transportation budgets. Since December 2005, $600 million has been cut nationally from the TE program. This represents approximately 75 percent of the annual TE authorization. Due to budget constraints, many federal programs, including transportation funding, are affected by rescission requests. However, it is quite evident that many states are targeting TE funding in a disproportionate manner when compared with other projects and programs, as evidenced by the 24 states that chose to gut TE funding in 2006. Of these, Texas, Wisconsin, and Oregon were the most egregious offenders, each taking more than two-thirds of their rescissions from the TE program. Given the short turn-around time for states to act, we appeal to each of you to contact your governor immediately to urge them to spare TE programs from further cuts and to ask them to restore some of the past cuts to reflect a more balanced and fair approach to addressing the federal rescission requests. Alternatively, it is important for those of you in states that fared well in this process to contact your governor and transportation authorities to thank them for protecting TE funding given the increased pressures on state transportation budgets. Click here for a detailed state-by-state breakdown of TE rescissions for 2006.
National Bike Summit a Rousing Success
The Bicycle Commuter Act was introduced in the Senate and the House during the National Bike Summit, and this was just one exciting development at the seventh annual meeting in Washington D.C. Click here to see the presentations, read the reviews, and find out more about this transformative event.
FHWA Safety Awards Competition
The Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation co-sponsor the 2007 National Roadway Safety Awards competition. This biennial award provides national recognition for exemplary roadway safety efforts and publicizes award-winning best practices. Participation in the awards program is an excellent opportunity to recognize successful roadway safety programs. Public and private sector state, regional, and local organizations are eligible to apply. The 2007 awards brochure provides detailed information and an application form. Applications must be received by June 1.
Airlines Double Prices for Flying Bikes Overseas
Prior to January 2007, most airlines let bicycles on trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights fly free, in lieu of one piece of baggage (as long as they were within the two-bag limit and underweight limit of 30kg). Early in 2007, several airlines have changed their baggage regulations for bicycles. By February 2007 the regulations, for most airlines, call for all bicycles being charged on these flights. The charges range from $80 to $160 each way -- $160 to $320 roundtrip! For more information, go to www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm.
The League is looking for members with CPA/financial management experience to serve on the League's audit committee. Ideally, the volunteer would be from the DC metro area to facilitate one to two in-person meetings each year. To learn more, or to volunteer, contact Paul Wessel, League treasurer and board member, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wyoming Strikes Mandatory Sidepath Law
Wyoming has expanded the rights of cyclists to ride on the road by repealing the mandatory sidepath law there. Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal signed the bill into law! It is now legal for cyclists to ride on the road even if an adjacent pathway is available. Friends of Pathways partnered with Cycle Wyoming, sponsors of the Tour de Wyoming, in working on this successful legislation. The bill passed the Wyoming House 55-4 in favor, and the Senate vote was just as strong, 27-2 on third reading.
International Bright Spot
Lyon's Bicycling Success Inspires Paris
After seeing Lyon, France's success with a bicycle program run by Cyclocity, a subsidiary of JCDecaux, Paris has announced that it will begin its own bicycle rental program this July. In Paris, as in Lyon, bike rides will be free for the first half hour. In Lyon, 95 percent of the trips are this length or shorter. Paris' program will also be run by Cyclocity.
Excerpted from the Washington Post.