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Advocating for bicyclists is one of the most important goals of the League, and working in conjunction with America Bikes, we have made some impressive achievements. The best way to get involved is to work with your local officials so they understand the importance of bicycling, and join the League.
Visit our Advocacy Center to tell your U.S. representatives how you feel about the latest bicycling issues in your backyard and across the United States.
How You Can Help Save Cycling -- Even if Your Representatives are not on the House T&I Committee
There is understandable fury about the elimination of funding for bicycling and walking programs in the proposed highway bill. This action does nothing to reduce the size of the bill and eliminates local control over what would be a tiny portion (1.5%) of the overall transportation program. Gutting policy language that has given bicyclists and pedestrians a role transportation planning and design for the past 20 years is a huge step backwards. If your member of Congress is on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, they need to hear from you NOW - ask them to support the Petri/Johnson amendment to restore these programs.
If your Representative isn't on the Committee you can:
Updates from Capitol Hill
Read and search by topics on the League Blog for the latest policy and legislative highlights. Visit the blog now!
Complete Streets Act of 2011
On Tuesday, May 24th, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced legislation aimed at improving roadways to make them safer and to encourage Americans to walk or bike to their destinations. The Complete Streets Act of 2011 (number not yet assigned) would promote the design of streets that are safe for all who use them - including motorists, bus riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bill encourages federal, state, and regional agencies that receive federal transportation funding to fully consider incorporating pedestrian and bicycle safety measures when roads are built or modernized. Harkin has introduced similar legislation in 2009 and 2007.
The Complete Streets Act of 2011 is cosponsored by Senators Thomas Carper (D-DE), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Mark Begich (D-AK), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD). The diverse members of the National Complete Streets Coalition are expressing their support for the measure; see their statements here.
SAFE ROUTES LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN THE 112th Congress
In April of 2011 - Senators Harkin (D-IA), Sanders (D-VT) and Merkley (D-OR) - introduced (S. 800) to sustain and strengthen the federal Safe Routes to School program. Congress is looking to scale back transportation spending - so it's critical that we send a strong message that the federal Safe Routes to School program should be preserved.
It's a tough environment in Congress these days with so much attention on cutting spending. But, Safe Routes to School is a good investment. With just 0.2% of federal transportation spending, the federal Safe Routes to School program is helping thousands of schools and communities in all 50 states and DC to protect kids from traffic dangers on the trip to and from school. By improving the safety and prevalence of walking and bicycling to and from school, children and their communities benefit from reduced traffic congestion, better air quality and healthier lifestyles.
S. 800 would:
FY2011 Budget Finally Approved:
Transportation Funding is Significantly Affected
(4.15.11) On Thursday, April 14, Congress approved and sent to President Barack Obama an appropriations bill to complete funding the federal government for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The bill captures the "handshake agreement" made late last Friday between President Obama, House Republicans, and Senate Democrats, which averted a government shutdown at the 11th hour. Of significant note the bill gets rid of all funding for high-speed rail this fiscal year, cancels $400 million of last year's unobligated high-speed rail funds, reduces Amtrak capital funding $130 million, cuts transit capital funding $400 million, cancels $280 million in prior transit appropriations, and rescinds $2.5 billion in highway contract authority (the League of American Bicyclists expects to have an action on this next week) plus $630 million in old unused highway earmarks.
Bill HR 1473 finally closes out Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations six-and-a-half months into the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The House approved the measure 260-167 Thursday afternoon and sent it to the Senate, which promptly approved Bill 81-19.