Posts Tagged ‘Tom Harkin’

Bike and Pedestrian funding survives — again!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Senators Levin and Stabenow escort Transportation Secretary LaHood on the RiverWalk, a project that has received Enhancements funding.

The U.S. Senate just voted 38 to 60 which preserves critical federal funding called Transportation Enhancements.

Enhancements are the primary funding source for bike and pedestrian projects. Had we lost this funding, it would have devastated our efforts to make Detroit and all of Michigan more bike-friendly.

The run up to this vote was colorful. Senator Rand Paul played up America’s failing bridges while decrying wasteful Enhancements spending. The only problem? The Associated Press researched his claims and found them to be “exaggerated and misrepresented” according to the article, FACT CHECK: GOP lawmakers spin funding tall tales.

Both Michigan Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, voted to continue this funding.

Thanks to everyone who contacted their senators prior to today’s vote.

When we contacted Senator Stabenow regarding this issue, she provided this positive response:

Thank you for contacting me about federal funding for pedestrian and bicycle trails. I share your concerns.

Michigan’s lush natural resources and unique landscapes present many opportunities for residents and visitors to make use of our bike paths, hiking trails and other non-motorized pathways. These areas not only provide recreational enjoyment for Michigan residents, but also attract much-needed tourism and economic activity to our state.

In the past, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced legislation that would require most federally funded transportation projects to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation users. If related legislation should come before me for a vote, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

The Harkin bill she mentions is for Complete Streets.

Complete Streets Bills Re-Introduced

Monday, March 16th, 2009
Photo courtesy of Dan Burden

Photo courtesy of Dan Burden

While meeting with members of Congress at the National Bike Summit, Complete Streets legislation was re-introduced. The same bill was introduced in the Senate in 2008 but died in committee.

The basic premise is road agencies should adopt a policy that ensures all transportation modes are reasonably accomodated, includinng biking and walking.

According to bill sponsor Senator Tom Harkin:

When Americans choose to leave their car at home and walk or ride a bike to school or work, they are making a healthy decision. We need to ensure streets, intersections and trails are designed to make them easier to use and maximize their safety.

This legislation will encourage Americans to be more active, while also providing more travel options and cutting down on traffic congestion.

Everyone is encouraged to use this quick online form letter to ask your Senator and Representative to support this legislation.

We typically got receptive but uncommitted support while in Washington DC, perhaps in large part because the bills were only recently introduced.

More details from the Complete Streets web site: (more…)