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News / Blog Action Alerts!
Action Alert!

Action Alert: US Rep. Sam Johnson is Attacking Bike/Ped Funding

Miércoles 03 de Junio de 2015 17:44

If you live in Rep. Johnson's district (District 3), contact his office NOW and ask him to withdraw HR 2609
 
Sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, and pathways aren’t luxury items. They’re essential to help people safely get to where they need to go—in small towns and large cities alike. 

Your U.S. Representative, Sam Johnson, is trying to kill the largest federal source of funding for bike/ped projects with H.R. 2609.

Take Action Now! Tell Rep. Johnson to stop his attacks that would eliminate the Transportation Alternatives Program!

The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is the largest dedicated source of funding for trails and walking and biking infrastructure in America. TAP helps millions of people safely get to where they need to go, plus allows communities the freedom to decide what infrastructure is the best fit for their own needs.

Rep. Johnson suggests taking the dedicated bike/ped funding and redirecting that money toward bridge repair, even though the bike/ped money is not nearly enough to repair the nation's bridges. Not only will this amendment not take care of bridge repair, it will leave bicycle and pedestrian programs with no funding. Gutting the Transportation Alternatives Program, which is only about 1% of the federal transportation budget, is not a viable solution to bridge repair.

Cost-efficient TAP funding helps create healthier neighborhoods, provide transportation choices, and boost local economies. Rep. Johnson’s attack on TAP is simply unwise and unacceptable—
and we need to make sure it doesn’t go unanswered.

Contact Rep. Johnson's D.C. Office:
 

BikeTexas has found the following format to be most effective when communicating with elected officials:

    1. My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live in Rep. Johnson's district. 
    2. I (or my spouse/child/parent) ride a bicycle. The programs and infrastructure provided by Transportation Alternatives give me the freedom to make my own choices about my transportation. I am disappointed that the Congressman is seeking to eliminate this valuable program.
    3. I request that Congressman Johnson withdraw his support from any bill that would eliminate the Transportation Alternatives Program.  

    Thank you for reaching out to elected officials to make Texas as a great place to ride a bike. Keep an eye on BikeTexas social media as well as our partners at the Rails to Trails Conservancy and the League of American Bicyclists throughout the evening for updates.

     

    Edited on 6-4-2015 to change bill number to HR 2609. It was previously errornously reported as HB 2609.

     

    Action Alert: Contact House Transportation Committee Members Now

    Martes 14 de Abril de 2015 14:09

    Please note: This action alert ONLY applies if your representative is on the transportation committee. If none of these committee members are your rep, sit tight while we wait for the next step. Non-constituent emails will not be helpful right now.

    Action-Alert-Photo

    Great news! HB 471, Safety Light at Night, and HB 2459, the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Act, have been scheduled for a hearing in the House Transportation Committee on Thursday, April 16.

    The House Transportation Committee needs to hear from constituents TODAY to get these bills out of committee and onto the House floor for a vote. If one of the committee members represents you, please reach out with an email or phone call and ask for a YES vote on HB 471 and HB 2459. (Not sure who your representative is? Find out here.)

    House Transportation Committee:

    Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spambots. Es necesario activar Javascript para visualizarla , Chair

    Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spambots. Es necesario activar Javascript para visualizarla , Vice Chair

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    We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:

    1. My name is _____ and my occupation is ______. I (and my spouse/children/parents) ride a bike in (your city or district). 
    2. Please support HB 471 and HB 2459. 
    3. (Tell your representative why these bills are important to you.)
    4. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

    An email from a constituent can make all the difference in the legislative session! Thank you for making Texas a great place to ride a bike.

       

    Success! Mirror Provision Removed from HB 383

    Lunes 13 de Abril de 2015 08:51

    Update 1 PM, April 13:

    Thank you! Thanks to your calls and emails, Rep. McClendon has removed the mirror provision from HB 383. Great work!

    We expect some of the bills that matter to people who ride bikes in Texas to come before the House Transportation Committee later this week. Is your representative on the transportation committee? (Find out who your representative is here.) If so, keep an eye on your inbox and the BikeTexas pages for a call to reach out to your rep and ask for his or her vote.

    Thanks again, Texas! Because of you, our legislators know that people who ride bikes have a strong voice in our state!

    House Transportation Committee:

    Rep. Joseph Pickett (Chair)
    Rep. Armando Martinez (Vice Chair)
    Rep. Cindy Burkett
    Rep. Yvonne Davis
    Rep. Allen Fletcher
    Rep. Patricia Harless
    Rep. Celia Israel
    Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon
    Rep. Andrew S. Murr
    Rep. Chris Paddie
    Rep. Larry Phillips
    Rep. Ron Simmons

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Action-Alert-Photo

    Contact Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon today!

    In her many years on the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon has been a strong supporter of better bicycling. However, HB 383 is a mistake, and her office needs to hear from you right now.

    HB 383 will require almost all bicycles and electric mobility-assist scooters in Texas to have an attached mirror. 

    This is an onerous requirement. Not all bicycles and scooters are designed to accept a mirror. Mirrors add expense and are difficult to maintain because they break frequently. Such a law has the potential to be unequally enforced. This requirement could cause some to give up on bicycling all together.

    Please email Rep. McClendon's office right now using this form on her district website and say, "Please pull HB 383 from the committee hearing on April 17, because it is bad for people who ride bikes and people with mobility impairment." (These tips for contacting elected officials can help you effectively frame your email.) Drop us a note at Esta dirección electrónica esta protegida contra spambots. Es necesario activar Javascript para visualizarla letting us know how it went.

    As an alternative, ask that Rep. McClendon join the bipartisan HB 2459 as a co-author. HB 2459, the Iris Stagner Safe Passing Bill, includes the safe passing language included in HB 383 but without the mirror requirement. HB 2459, led by Rep. Mando Martinez, has bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats and has a much better chance of becoming state law.

    There are many reasons to oppose HB 383. We have listed a few below, and if any of them ring true for you, please do include them in your correspondence. HB 383 requires mirrors on the bicycle itself, and applies to bicycles on roads where the speed limit is greater than 15mph.

    • There is no city or state in the country that requires mirrors on bicycles.
    • It is the obligation of a motor vehicle driver to not run over people on bikes. This legislation seems to be blaming the victim for bicyclist deaths.
    • Mirror laws are likely to be unevenly enforced, and can easily become a social justice issue when certain demographics are targeted more than others.
    • This law would make it harder and more expensive for families to get regular physical activity.
    • There is no age limit with this law, and it may be unsafe, expensive, or very difficult to attach a mirror to my child's bicycle.
    • I prefer to ride on trails, but sometimes I am forced to ride on the street for part of my ride. Am I going to get a ticket riding to my favorite trail?
    • Mirrors are fragile and mine break easily. Am I going to get a ticket every time my mirror is broken?
    • I have tried mirrors on my electric scooter and found it was difficult to maneuver through 32-inch doors without breaking the mirror.
    • I personally like mirrors, but I have a mirror on my helmet or glasses rather than on my bicycle. Why should I get a ticket for having a mirror that isn't on my bicycle?

    If you have other reasons to not support this bill you'd like to share, please let us know.

    Rep. McClendon has supported bicycling in the past, and we are very disappointed and puzzled that she would work on something that is anti-bicycling. She needs to hear from you right now.

    Thank you for your support.

       

    Action Alert: Call Now to Prevent Legislation Hostile to Bicycling in Texas

    Martes 31 de Marzo de 2015 09:31

    Update from April 1: 

    BikeTexas supporter Justin McMurtry stayed up all night to bring us this report:

    "At 3:20am, the House at last takes up consideration of Rep. Hughes's amendment to prohibit state funds from being spent to convert any existing general-use traffic lane into a bike, bus, or other special-purpose lane.

    Hughes offers to modify his amendment to make it 'less objectionable', but before he can explain, another member [Rep. Eddie Rodriguez] raises a point of order against it—presumably based on the House rule that disallows budgetary acts that would change existing general law.

    At 3:23am, the point of order and the amendment are both temporarily withdrawn."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Contact your rep now and ask him or her to oppose Rep. Hughes' amendment to Article 7.

    Rep. Bryan Hughes is proposing an amendment today that could hobble Texas? ability to provide safe roads for bicycling for decades to come. The amendment would prevent any state or federal funds from being used to reduce excess motor vehicle lanes for use as bicycle lanes or bus lanes. If passed, no state or federal funds, even those given to local areas as grants, could ever be used in this manner.

    Please contact your Texas House Representative RIGHT NOW by phone and/or email. Ask that he or she vote NO. Also, ask him or her to speak out against Rep. Hughes' amendment to Article 7. (Don't know who your rep is? Find out here.) You can use any or all of the talking points below:

    • This amendment is dangerous and will cost lives.
    • Engineers routinely determine that there will not be significant impact to motor vehicle traffic before changing a roadway.
    • Lane conversions create safer spaces for people walking, biking, and driving, reducing roadway injuries and fatalities.
    • Transportation engineers in a local community need to be able to exercise their own professional judgement to determine the best solution to local traffic situations.
    • The FHWA-approved lane conversions are proven to be effective at improving safety.
    • [Name a local road in your area] is unsafe to bike or walk on. This amendment would make it very difficult to make this road a safe place for me and my family.

    Be sure to include your name, address, and occupation. Thank you for making Texas a great place to bike and walk!

     

    Edited to add the amendment language:

    Floor Amendment No. _____________   By: ____________________ 

    1    Amend C.S.H.B No. 1 (house committee report) by adding the 

    2 following appropriately numbered rider in Article VII after the

    3 appropriations to the Texas Department of Transportation:

    4    ____. Conversion of Vehicle Lane. The Texas Department of

    5 Transportation may not use any money appropriated by this Act:

    6       (1) for the conversion of an existing vehicle lane to a

    7 bus lane, bike lane, or other special purpose lane; or

    8       (2) to issue a grant to a political subdivision of this

    9 state for the purpose described by Subdivision (1) of this rider.  

       

    Action Alert: Ask your representative to vote YES on HB 80

    Lunes 23 de Marzo de 2015 11:39

    Action-Alert-Photo

    The statewide ban on texting while driving has passed out of committee and is headed to the House floor on Wednesday, March 25.

    Forty-five states have banned texting while driving. It's time for Texas to join with most of the country to make our roads safer for all road users by keeping this dangerous activity out from behind the wheel. Read the text of the bill here.  

    We've found the following format to be useful when contacting elected officials:

    1. My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live in District ____. I ride a bike.
    2. Please support HB 80 to ban texting while driving in Texas.
    3. (Tell your representative why this legislation is important to you.)
    4. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Thank you for making Texas a great place to ride a bike!

       

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