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News / Blog Action Alerts!
Action Alert!

San Antonio Residents - Vote Saturday May 12 for Better Roads for Biking

Thursday, May 10 2012 08:10

BuildSA-logoSan Antonio residents have a chance this Saturday, May 12, to vote YES for bonds that will greatly improve many San Antonio roads for biking and walking. 
 
 
On May 12, 2012 San Antonio voters will have the opportunity to vote on $596 million in capital improvements - better streets, safer sidewalks, reduced flooding and new and improved parks, libraries, fire stations and museums - all over the city. This is an opportunity to invest in San Antonio's future, but only if voters step up and vote yes on the City of San Antonio 2012-2017 Bond Program. Here are five reasons to vote yes and Build SA Now:
 
  • Most of the bond money - $465 million, or 78 percent of the total package - will be spent on urgent infrastructure needs
  • The Bond Program will allow the City to make these improvements without raising taxes
  • The 140 projects in the Bond Program were selected by the community
  • A Citizens' Oversight Committee will oversee the Bond Program to ensure funds are spent properly
  • This investment in our city will create thousands of local jobs

 

Read more about this bond package here: Build SA Now Key Messages.pdf


Some of the specific road projects that will greatly improve conditions for San Antonio bicycle riders are: 

      • Downtown Street Reconstruction - Main, Soledad, many others
      • HemisFair Park Area Redevelopment - Cesar Chavez cycletracks
      • Espada Road
      • Ray Ellison
      • Villaret
      • Theo & Malone Corridors
      • Tezel Road
      • Hausman Road
      • Redland Road Phase II
      • Hardy Oak Blvd.
      • Bulverde and Classen Roads Realignment
      • Ingram Road 

Don't miss this key opportunity to improve San Antonio for bicycling.

On Saturday, May 12, GET OUT AND VOTE!!

 

ACT NOW to Save Biking and Walking in Texas!

Wednesday, February 15 2012 10:10

FederalTransporationPrograms-400new2
AT THIS VERY MOMENT, the U.S. Senate and House are taking action to eliminate key programs that fund walking and biking

LET'S TAKE ACTION TO PRESERVE WALKING AND BIKING IN TEXAS
 
MAP-21 in the Senate and H.R.7 in the House - as they stand now - represent the forces that want to spend all our tax money to build expensive highways and leave biking and walking in the dust.
Across the country, groups are mobilizing to ensure Americans have the freedom to choose healthy, economically beneficial transportation options. Your help is needed RIGHT NOW
 
1) Ask Senators Cornyn and Hutchison to support the Cardin/Cochran and Kloubacher Amendments
 

SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR U.S. SENATE CONTACTS:

Dear Senator YOUR MEMBER'S NAME,

I am a Texan voter and a cyclist/pedestrian/parent/teacher/member of BikeTexas/city transportation planner/parks official/etc (STATE ANY AND ALL RELEVANT AFFILIATIONS).

Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements are very important to me because of the Texas obesity epidemic/I have been hit by a car/my roads are unsafe for my children/etc. (USE YOUR OWN WORDS)

I urge you to support the following amendments to MAP-21:

  • Cardin/Cochran Amendment #1549 to restore TE funds
  • Klobuchar Amendment to restore the Recreational Trails Program

I am very upset that MAP-21, as it was voted out of the Environment and Public Works Committee, fails to provide dedicated funding that we can count on to support trails, walking and bicycling.

Through inclusion of expensive new eligible projects like roads, activities like routine maintenance of vegetation and compliance with regulatory requirements, the newly defined Transportation Enhancements (TE) program will no longer be used by my state transportation department to fund trails, walking and bicycling. These transportation opportunities are absolutely necessary for our communities--and our nation--to continue creating jobs, providing affordable transportation, bettering our energy security, improving health and safety, and more.

As this bill is also about creating jobs, it is worth noting that a recent study by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials found that TE projects, like building trails, create more jobs per dollar than do highway projects like road resurfacing.

Thank you for your continued service.

2) Ask your Member of Congress to support the Petri Amendment

IT IS NOT TOO LATE - These key amendments would prevent shortsightedness and special interests from ruining our transportation future for decades. 

Senator Hutchison:
202-224-5922
Email form

Senator Cornyn:
202-224-2934
 
 
Find Your Member of Congress



U.S. Senate - WHAT YOU CAN DO
Ask both of your Senators to support the Cardin/Cochran (Amendment #1549)* and Klobuchar** amendments

MAP-21, as it was voted out of the Environment and Public Works Committee, fails to provide dedicated funding that we can count on to support trails, walking and bicycling. 
 
The bill guts Transportation Enhancements, which for decades has been the key source of funding for paved trails and other bike/ped transportation infrastructure. 
 
The bill would allow TE money, less than 2% of the transportation budget, to be spent towards expensive new eligible projects, like roads and vegetation maintenance, instead of the bike/ped transportation option Texas desperately needs. 

*Fortunately, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) have introduced an amendment to MAP-21 that would ensure we have a fair shot at dedicating funds for trails, walking and bicycling

**Further, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will introduce another amendment that would restore the integrity of the Recreational Trails Program.

Ask Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn: 
Will you support floor amendments by Senators Cardin/Cochran (to give Texas decision-makers access to TE funds) and Klobuchar (to reinstate the integrity of the Recreational Trails Program)? 



SAMPLE SCRIPT FOR U.S. CONGRESS CONTACTS:

Dear Representative YOUR MEMBER'S NAME,

I am a voter in your district and a cyclist/pedestrian/parent/teacher/member of BikeTexas/city transportation planner/parks official/etc (STATE ANY AND ALL RELEVANT AFFILIATIONS).

Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements are very important to me because of the Texas obesity epidemic/I have been hit by a car/my roads are unsafe for my children/etc. (USE YOUR OWN WORDS)

I urge you to support the Petri Amendment that preserves dedicated funding for walking and biking.

Local Governments deserve a voice in transportation. The bipartisan Petri Amendment ensures that cities and counties have an opportunity to weigh in on transportation decisions.

Construction projects get moving. The Petri Amendment kick-starts small, low-impact construction projects, providing transportation, economic, health, and safety benefits sooner.

Active Transportation is a wise investment. Walking and Biking infrastructure is low-cost, creates more jobs per dollar than any other kind of highway spending, and is critical to economic development for main street America.

Safety matters. Bicycle and pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic fatalities, yet biking and walking receive less that 2% of funding. These programs provide funding for sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that make streets safer for all users. 

Thank you for your continued service.

U.S. House - WHAT YOU CAN DO
Ask your Member of Congress to support the Petri Amendment - The Transportation Improvement Program
 
The House transportation bill is even worse than the Senate version. 
 
Despite the fact that walking and biking make up 12% of trips and 14% of traffic fatalities but receive only 1.5% of federal funding, the House bill eliminates dedicated funding for walking and bicycling. 

Both bills are purported to create jobs, but fail miserably. A recent study by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials found that TE projects, like building trails, create more jobs per dollar than do highway projects like road resurfacing.
 
Luckily, an amendment authored by Tom Petri (R-Wisc.) and co-sponsored by Texas' own Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) among others, corrects the transportation bill.

The Petri Amendment preserves dedicated funding for Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancementsand consolidates these programs into the Transportation Improvement Program. 

 

Ask your Member of Congress:

Will you support the Petri Amendment to improve America's transportation system?



Find your Member of Congress

Click here



 

General Guidelines

 

* Identify yourself as a voter and a constituent

* Briefly state why these programs are important to you and why

* Make a specific, direct ask of support for these amendments

* Be polite, thank them for their service.


See all our Guidelines for writing your represenatives here:

http://www.biketexas.org/en/get-involved/tips-on-writing-your-representative



OTHER ACTIONS 
 

This is a huge moment in the history of bike-friendly America. Many of BikeTexas' partners at the federal level are quickly mobilizing:

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

League of American Bicyclists

Safe Routes to School National Partnership


   

ACTION ALERT: Contact Texas Senators to Save Recreational Trails

Monday, February 06 2012 12:41

 Dear (Contact First Name), 

Texas trails need your help right now!

 

As soon as TODAY - Tuesday, March 6th - the U.S. Senate may take action on the transportation bill, also known as MAP-21.

 

We need your help to make sure that Senators Hutchison and Cornyn support the Klobuchar Amendment to MAP-21 (Amendment #1661) to protect the Recreational Trails Program and its dedicated funding as part of the final bill.

 

We know that grassroots advocacy can work in Washington - just last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a new version of MAP-21 that reflects a level of support for walking and biking that BikeTexas and our federal partner organizations have been working hard to achieve.

 

Senator Reid's draft bill includes a modified version of the bipartisan amendment cosponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), which improves local access to Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School funds.

 

This is a great preliminary victory for biking and walking - the first of two amendments we have been seeking is now largely reflected in the Senate transportation bill advanced by both parties.  

 

However, we still need broader support among all Senators for the Recreational Trails Program as restored by the Klobuchar Amendment to MAP-21.

 

This is where you come in -- Now is the time to call and write to both of your U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison:

 

Sen. John Cornyn
202-224-2934 (Washington)
Email Contact Form
Facebook * Twitter
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
202-224-5922 (Washington)
Email Contact Form
Facebook * Twitter

 

Ask them to please support the Klobuchar Amendment (#1661) to the transportation bill (MAP-21).   

 

Let them know how important the Recreational Trails Program is for Texas:

  • Unless the bill is amended, MAP-21 will effectively eliminate the Recreational Trails Program and seriously damage, if not destroy, the balanced system of trails for all users that the RTP has allowed Texas to develop and maintain over the last 20 years. The RTP leverages hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support from other sources for trails and facilitates healthy outdoor recreation and associated, badly needed economic activity in countless communities. Without the RTP, organized trail planning and development will simply vanish in many areas of the country.
  • Right now, at an annual funding level of $85 million, the RTP receives less than 42% of the federal gas taxes paid every year by America's nonhighway recreationists. Unless amended, MAP-21 will convert a legitimate user fee into an unfair tax, with recreationists subsidizing commercial and private highway users.  
  • The return of gas taxes to trail users through the RTP is in keeping with the user-pay, user-benefit philosophy of the Highway Trust Fund. Ending dedicated funding for RTP takes these gas taxes away from the people who pay them.  Ending dedicated funding for RTP is bad public policy and just plain wrong.

As always, be sure to let your Senators know that you are a constituent and state your relevant affiliations, such as membership in BikeTexas. Be polite and thank them for their service to Texas. For more info, see our Guidelines on Writing Your Representatives. 

 

Please let us know when you have contacted your Senators, and be sure to send us a copy of any correspondance you receive. 

 

The combined efforts of advocates for biking, walking, and safe, efficient transportation choices are working. The developments last week in the Senate are encouraging, but we are not through yet. Please contact both Senators Cornyn and Hutchison TODAY.

 

We look forward to your continued commitment to BikeTexas and our efforts to make Texas a great place to walk and bike. 

 

Sincerely,

Robin Stallings Signature 

Robin Stallings

Executive Director 

   

Action Alert: Take the TPWD Survey

Tuesday, August 16 2011 13:03

It's time to show your support of Texas State Parks.

The Recreation Grants Branch at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is conducting a survey of Texas citizens. Please show your support by responding.

BikeTexas Kids Kup in Huntsville State ParkClick here to Take the Survey

Two great reasons to take the survey:

TPWD, always on the Texas Legislative chopping block, had a particularly rough time this past session. Your support through this questionnaire shows that Texans highly value their State Parks.

TPWD receives federal Recreational Trail Program funding through TxDOT, who has cut Rec Trails in the past as part of other painful decisions in federal recission requests.  In response to feedback from BikeTexas regarding previous cuts to Recreational Trails Program funding, TxDOT invited BikeTexas to sit on the TxDOT Stakeholder Committee on Rescissions. After input from BikeTexas at the very first meeting in May 2011, the stakeholder committee chose to save all of the $3 million in Recreational Trail funds. Your support of TPWD does much to strengthen BikeTexas' hand at these meetings.



   

Contact Congress: Do Not Cut Bike-Ped Funds!

Monday, July 11 2011 10:32

Safe Routes to SchoolThree federal programs critical to walking and biking, Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails Program, are being targeted for elimination as the transportation bill is being written in the House and Senate committees.

House Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-FL) announced yesterday that his transportation bill will eliminate dedicated funding for bicycling and walking, including Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreational Trails Program, and discourage states from choosing to spend their dollars on these activities that are "not in the federal interest."

Things on the Senate side are not much better. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the lead Republican negotiator on the transportation bill, declared that one of his TOP THREE priorities for the transportation bill is toeliminate 'frivolous spending for bike trails.'

U.S. Senate: What you can do

U.S Senators serve all Texas citizens.  Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is on the Senate Transportation Committee and is past chair of the Senate Bicycle Caucus.  Senator Hutchison has been a champion for Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements in the past.  Contacting Senator Hutchison is the highest priority.

Senator John Cornyn is the other Senator representing Texas in Washington.  A message to Senator Cornyn will also help.

Action: Ask Senator Hutchison to continue her support for biking and walking by preventing this gutting of these programs.

Phone: 202-224-5922
Email: Click here

Ask Senator Cornyn to oppose cuts to Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails funding.

Phone: 202-224-2934
Email: Click here

U.S. House of Representatives: What you can do

Representatives Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) both sit on the House Transportation Committee.  It is the highest priority that they hear from their constituents asking them not to cut these vital programs.

BikeTexas has met with Rep. Farenthold several times and he has pledged to support continued funding for Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School, and Rec Trails.  As a Republican member of a majority Republican committee, Rep. Farenthold will have the most influence with Chairman Mica.  Rep. E.B. Johnson has always been a reliable supporter of these three programs, please thank her and ask her to continue her support.

Action: Click here to find out who your U.S. House Representative is.  If you are a constituent of Blake Farenthold or Eddie Bernice Johnson, ask them to pledge support to prevent gutting of these programs.

Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi)

Phone: 202-225-7742
Email: Click here

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas)

Phone: 202-225-8885
Email: Click here

If you are represented by any other congressperson, use this link to find his or her contact information.  Ask your Representative to talk with a colleague serving on the House Congressional Transportation Committee with whom they have a relationship, to urge them to keep these important programs.

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

Before writing or calling, please review our general guidelines for writing your representatives. Some specific points we suggest you make for a letter or phone call are:

  • Properly address your representative (see our general guidelines) Identify yourself as a constituent (e.g. "I'm a voter in District 4", or "I live in your district.")
  • Briefly state your background and any relevant affiliations (e.g., I'm a city official/engineer/PTA member/parent and a member of BikeTexas)
  • State that these programs are important to you and why in a short sentence or two. Make it personal to your experience. See our FAQ's for ideas.
  • Ask that your representative OPPOSE cuts in these programs. Making a specific request is key. You might ask it as a question, e.g. "Will you oppose elimination of Bike-Ped funding?"
  • Be polite. You might thank them for their public service.

For more information, contact BikeTexas at 512-476-7433.

   

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