Statement on the New Transportation Bill

       America Bikes and Safe Routes to School National Partnership
   Statement on New Transportation Bill

The America Bikes coalition — representing the nation’s leading bicycling and walking groups — and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership oppose the new transportation bill, which would nationally cut funding for biking and walking projects by 60 to 70 percent.

We are deeply concerned that bicycling and walking programs suffer large and disproportionate cuts in funding in the new bill. Programs that save lives and dollars are eliminated.

The full extent of cuts to biking and walking funding will be determined at the state level and may be even deeper. We will continue to work in states and local communities to support safe, accessible streets.

The new transportation bill is a bad bill for biking and walking. This bill:

Cuts available biking and walking funds by 60 to 70 percent. Biking and walking programs are combined into a single program, Transportation Alternatives, with drastically reduced funding.

Eliminates dedicated Safe Routes to School funding. The bill eliminates dedicated funding for the massively popular and cost-effective Safe Routes to School program, which helps make walking and biking to school safer for millions of American schoolchildren.

Weakens local control. The new transportation bill allows states to opt-out of half of the funds potentially available for small-scale biking and walking projects. Whereas the bi-partisan Senate bill allowed local governments and planning entities to compete for 1% of transportation funds, the new bill allows states to opt-out of the local grant program completely.

Makes biking and walking compete with new, expensive eligibilities. Eligibilities such as road uses and environmental mitigation have been added to Transportation Alternatives, making it harder for local communities to compete for funding for local biking and walking projects.

This two-year bill represents a major step backwards in transportation policy for transportation choices and healthy physical activity. Despite this temporary setback in national policy, bicycling and walking will continue to grow and gain support, and Americans will continue to demand safer, more accessible streets and communities. Going forward, biking and walking will return to a central place in America’s transportation policies and programs.



For more information: You can also download this statement in PDF, view specific information on the impact of the bill on Safe Routes to School, read the America Bike's press release and review a comparison of the bicycling and walking provisions from current law and MAP-21.

Decisions are Underway, Ask Congress to Protect Funding for Sidewalks and Bikeways

Decisions are Underway, Ask Congress to Protect Funding for Sidewalks and Bikeways

An overwhelming majority of Americans—including large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans—support federal funding for bicycling and walking.  It doesn’t have to be a partisan issue.

Senators and Representatives are meeting now to create a final transportation bill, and we need your help to protect the hard-fought Cardin-Cochran agreement.  Without this agreement, states will be able to use bicycling and walking funds towards more highway lanes.  Contact your Senators and Representatives today to ask them to preserve this bipartisan agreement so that communities can access funding for Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking.

Just two months ago, the Senate passed a transportation bill that included the Cardin-Cochran agreement. This bipartisan compromise would ensure that local governments and school systems are able to access much-needed funds to make bicycling and walking safer and more accessible.  Your local leaders—mayors, city councilors and county officials—know what your community’s transportation needs are, and the Cardin-Cochran amendment  helps ensure they can compete for funding to make those improvements.

Funding for bicycling and walking has popular support—a recent Princeton survey found that 83 percent of Americans support federal funds for sidewalks and bike lanes. Local elected officials across the country want to respond to their constituents, and need federal funding to build sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks.

Will you help us get the message to Congress? You can help in two ways:

  1. Ask your Senators and Representatives to maintain the Cardin-Cochran agreement, which gives local governments a voice in transportation planning.
  2. Ask your mayor or other local elected official to send a letter of support to your Senators and Representative for the Cardin-Cochran agreement. A sample letter with instructions is available in Word or PDF format.

Take Action

Thank you for standing up to tell Congress that Americans support funding for bicycling and walking.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION PRESENTS 2012 “GAME CHANGER AWARD” TO SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP

Safe Routes to School National Partnership 

 

 

Bikes Belong logo

 

 

 

Contact: Deb Hubsmith
deb@saferoutespartnership.org

                                                                                       

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION PRESENTS 2012 "GAME CHANGER AWARD" TO SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP, HOSTED BY BIKES BELONG FOUNDATION
Recognizes Seven-Year Effort Fighting Obesity and Increasing Safe Walking and Bicycling Routes in U.S.

BOULDER, COLORADO (May 9, 2012) – In recognition of its seven-year track record promoting safe walking and bicycling routes to school for children and fighting obesity, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented Safe Routes to School National Partnership (http://www.saferoutespartnership.org) with the 2012 Game Changer Award. Safe Routes to School National Partnership Director Deb Hubsmith accepted the award at the Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington, D.C., a gathering of public policy makers and health leaders engaged in obesity prevention and control initiatives.

The Game Changer Award nominations reflect activities that have led to paradigm shifts that have advanced obesity prevention efforts.

“Bicycling and walking to school is one of our nation’s best remedies for childhood obesity,” said Bruno Maier, vice president of the Bikes Belong Foundation. “Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s work is critical to reversing this trend. It has ignited a powerful national movement bringing public health, school and transportation officials together to build a healthier future for children and adults. We congratulate Deb and her team for their tireless efforts.”

“The statistics are startling,” said Hubsmith. “Between 1969 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children tripled. Our work helps communities make it safe, fun and convenient for children to walk and bicycle to school and in daily life. This award acknowledges the work of countless parent volunteers, dedicated engineers, committed educators and enthusiastic children who are true game changers in tens of thousands of communities across the country.”

Today, more than 12,000 schools and five million children benefit from Safe Routes to School programs throughout the U.S.  Large urban areas across the entire country, from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, and smaller rural regions such as central Wisconsin and north central Montana, are encouraging children to be active through walking and bicycling. In Eugene, Oregon, at Roosevelt Middle School, comparing 2007 with 2010, the percentage of children bicycling and walking increased from 27 percent to 42 percent. In Eagan, Minnesota, at Red Pine Elementary School, 200 children regularly bicycle and walk throughout the year. “The reduction in traffic congestion around the school has been dramatic,” said Gary Anger, principal at Red Pine Elementary School. “Before the Safe Routes to School program, approximately 100 cars were arriving every day. Now, just 40 to 45 vehicles drop off children each day. Our children arrive ready to learn and our school community is learning about healthy habits they can practice their entire life.”

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is also celebrating National Bike Month. This month, millions of Americans are participating in 450 events nationwide, highlighting the benefits of bicycling and the need for bike-friendly transportation policies. As part of this celebration, the inaugural National Bike to School Day is being held May 9 to encourage more children and families to safely bicycle or walk to school.

About Bikes Belong Foundation and Safe Routes to School National Partnership

The Bikes Belong Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on improving bicycle safety and enhancing children's bike programs, is the host of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, which launched in August 2005 at the same time that Congress authorized $612 million for the first national Safe Routes to School program.

About the Safe Routes to School National Partnership

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a fast growing network of more than 500 organizations and professional groups working to set goals, share best practices, leverage infrastructure and program funding and advance policy change to help agencies that implement Safe Routes to School programs across the nation. The National Partnership’s mission is to advocate for safe walking and bicycling to and from schools and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.

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CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION PRESENTS 2012 “GAME CHANGER AWARD” TO SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP

Safe Routes to School National Partnership 

 

 

Bikes Belong logo

 

 

 

Contact: Chris Goddard, CGPR
chris@cgprpublicrelations.com
781-639-4924, Ext. 111

                                                                                       

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION PRESENTS 2012 "GAME CHANGER AWARD" TO SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP, HOSTED BY BIKES BELONG FOUNDATION
Recognizes Seven-Year Effort Fighting Obesity and Increasing Safe Walking and Bicycling Routes in U.S.

BOULDER, COLORADO (May 9, 2012) – In recognition of its seven-year track record promoting safe walking and bicycling routes to school for children and fighting obesity, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented Safe Routes to School National Partnership (http://www.saferoutespartnership.org) with the 2012 Game Changer Award. Safe Routes to School National Partnership Director Deb Hubsmith accepted the award at the Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington, D.C., a gathering of public policy makers and health leaders engaged in obesity prevention and control initiatives.

The Game Changer Award nominations reflect activities that have led to paradigm shifts that have advanced obesity prevention efforts.

“Bicycling and walking to school is one of our nation’s best remedies for childhood obesity,” said Bruno Maier, vice president of the Bikes Belong Foundation. “Safe Routes to School National Partnership’s work is critical to reversing this trend. It has ignited a powerful national movement bringing public health, school and transportation officials together to build a healthier future for children and adults. We congratulate Deb and her team for their tireless efforts.”

“The statistics are startling,” said Hubsmith. “Between 1969 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children tripled. Our work helps communities make it safe, fun and convenient for children to walk and bicycle to school and in daily life. This award acknowledges the work of countless parent volunteers, dedicated engineers, committed educators and enthusiastic children who are true game changers in tens of thousands of communities across the country.”

Today, more than 12,000 schools and five million children benefit from Safe Routes to School programs throughout the U.S.  Large urban areas across the entire country, from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, and smaller rural regions such as central Wisconsin and north central Montana, are encouraging children to be active through walking and bicycling. In Eugene, Oregon, at Roosevelt Middle School, comparing 2007 with 2010, the percentage of children bicycling and walking increased from 27 percent to 42 percent. In Eagan, Minnesota, at Red Pine Elementary School, 200 children regularly bicycle and walk throughout the year. “The reduction in traffic congestion around the school has been dramatic,” said Gary Anger, principal at Red Pine Elementary School. “Before the Safe Routes to School program, approximately 100 cars were arriving every day. Now, just 40 to 45 vehicles drop off children each day. Our children arrive ready to learn and our school community is learning about healthy habits they can practice their entire life.”

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is also celebrating National Bike Month. This month, millions of Americans are participating in 450 events nationwide, highlighting the benefits of bicycling and the need for bike-friendly transportation policies. As part of this celebration, the inaugural National Bike to School Day is being held May 9 to encourage more children and families to safely bicycle or walk to school.

About Bikes Belong Foundation and Safe Routes to School National Partnership

The Bikes Belong Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on improving bicycle safety and enhancing children's bike programs, is the host of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, which launched in August 2005 at the same time that Congress authorized $612 million for the first national Safe Routes to School program.

About the Safe Routes to School National Partnership

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a fast growing network of more than 500 organizations and professional groups working to set goals, share best practices, leverage infrastructure and program funding and advance policy change to help agencies that implement Safe Routes to School programs across the nation. The National Partnership’s mission is to advocate for safe walking and bicycling to and from schools and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.

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Senate Passes MAP-21 Bill, Includes Safe Routes Provisions

Senate Passes MAP-21 Bill, Includes Safe Routes Provisions

March 14, 2012:  Today the Senate passed the MAP-21 transportation bill, including provisions to ensure that local governments can compete for Safe Routes to School funding, by a vote of 74-22.  The Safe Routes to School National Partnership applauds the Senate for their bipartisan action on the transportation reauthorization and urges the House to move quickly to take up the bipartisan MAP-21 bill.

The final MAP-21 bill contains a number of improvements over the original bill that was first released back in November 2011.  These improvements are due to the leadership of several Senators, and from advocates who pushed their Senators to support these improvements.  We thank our many partners and supporters who helped secure these significant changes to benefit Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking.

  • Requires state Departments of Transportation to suballocate and competitively award the Additional Activities funding.  In the original MAP-21 bill, Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails were all consolidated into the Additional Activities program.  Also eligible for Additional Activities funding are road and environmental mitigation projects.  In the original language, state DOTs had full control over how to use the funding, likely resulting in little to no funding for bicycling and walking. 

    Under the revisions included in the final bill, local governments, school systems and metropolitan planning organizations will be able to access much-needed funding to make walking and bicycling safe and accessible.  We believe that moving more decision-making to the regional and local level will help ensure that Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking projects are funded through Additional Activities.  [Amendment proposed by Sens. Cardin (D-MD and Cochran (R-MS)].  Specifically:
  1. The state DOT must obligate half of the Additional Activities funding, based on population, to metropolitan planning organizations and smaller areas.  Metropolitan planning organizations must hold a competitive process to identify projects to fund with their suballocated funding.
  2. The state DOT must hold a competitive process for the remaining half of their Additional Activities funding.  Local governments, school districts, and other local agencies are eligible to compete.
  • Requires the US Secretary of Transportation to create standards to ensure that all users—including bicyclists and pedestrians—are safely accommodated in all phases of design and operation of all federally-funded transportation projects.  States can get a waiver if they already have state standards in place.  This is a big step forward for Complete Streets. [Amendment proposed by Sen. Begich (D-AK)]
  • Requires states, unless they opt out, to spend on recreational trails projects at least what they received in 2009 for the Recreational Trails program.  This funding is part of the Additional Activities program. [Amendment proposed by Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN)]
  • Adds further restrictions on the “mandatory sidepath clause” that would make roads on federal lands off-limits for cyclists when an adjacent paved path is nearby.  Now, this restriction only applies to roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or greater where the bicycle level of service is rated B or higher.  [Amendment proposed by Sens. Merkley (D-OR) and Franken (D-MN)]

  • Requires the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian representatives in several transportation planning processes, including Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs), State Transportatin Improvement Programs (STIPs) and the State Strategic Highway Safety Plan. [Amendment proposed by Sen. Udall (D-NM)]

Breaking News: A Win for Safe Routes to School, Bicycling and Walking in the Senate

A Win for Safe Routes to School, Bicycling and Walking in the Senate

March 1, 2012

We've just won a big battle for keeping Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking a part of the federal transportation bill.  After several long weeks of intense work from advocates around the country, we are extremely pleased to report that the Cardin-Cochran amendment has been accepted as part of the base Senate transportation bill, MAP-21.  This amendment will ensure that local governments, school systems, and metropolitan planning organizations are able to access much-needed funds to make routes to school and routes throughout communities safe for bicycling and walking. 

Thank YOU for making this Senate win a reality!  We are one step closer to a federal transportation law that makes streets safer for all users. Please consider calling your Senators to thank them for including the Cardin-Cochran amendment, and to ask them to vote for MAP-21.

The list of who we need to thank for this important victory is long, and you will be hearing more—but our most immediate thanks go to:

  • Senators Cardin (D-MD) and Cochran (R-MS) for championing this amendment and ensuring that local governments have a voice in transportation planning and projects;
  • The leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sens. Boxer (D-CA), Baucus (D-MT), Inhofe (R-OK), and Vitter (R-LA), for including this amendment;
  • Dozens and dozens of national partners who helped get the word out about this amendment;
  • Hundreds of state, regional and local organizations who spread the word to their constituents and got local leaders to take action; and
  • Tens of thousands of individuals who called and emailed their Senators to ask them to vote for the Cardin-Cochran amendment.

Of course, there's lots of work ahead. With this change, we now strongly urge the Senate to move forward quickly on passing this much-needed transportation bill, MAP-21.  

While this is a big victory and a big step forward, we still have a ways to go before it can become law.  Your help will be key over the coming weeks to ensure that the Senate bill passes, to restore bicycle and pedestrian funding in the House, and to make certain that any extension retains Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and Recreational Trails. 

But, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.  For now, let’s all take some time to celebrate this testament to the value that Safe Routes to School, bicycling and walking have to our local governments and in our communities.

For additional details, please review our joint statement with America Bikes.

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