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Smart Growth America: Urge the House to restore safety funding to Transportation Bill

Our partners at Smart Growth America posted yesterday to their blog information about the Transportation Bill introduced in the House of Representatives, we’ve reposted it below:

House Transportation Bill slashes safety funding, but there’s a chance to fix it

Today the House released its draft transportation bill to the public. Our colleagues at Transportation for America are still evaluating the overall bill, but we have a chance in the next 24 hours to help fix America’s bridges and restore the dedicated funding that makes our roads safer for people on foot or bike, which has been eliminated.

The bill fails to require states to put a priority on fixing the country’s 69,000 deficient bridges before spending money on new highways.

We need your help: tell your Representative to support two amendments that would restore funding for safe biking and walking, and make repairing our deficient bridges a priority.

The House committee that wrote the bill will vote on it Thursday morning, and they will decide in less than 48 hours what to change before approving it and moving it to the full House for a vote.

The bill fails to require states to put a priority on fixing the country’s 69,000 deficient bridges before spending money on new highways. In just the next 48 hours before the committee votes, there will be more than 565 million trips taken across deficient bridges in the U.S. That’s enough cars to line them up end to end from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. and back… 267 times.

Tell your Representative to support safety and repair amendments in the Transportation bill: click here to send a letter to your member of Congress.

Pedestrian deaths have increased in the past year, yet this bill eliminates the tiny amount of funding dedicated to making streets safer for everyone. It makes it optional for states to fix roads that endanger people on foot or bicycle. And the bill even gets rid of Safe Routes to School, the hugely popular program designed to keep kids safe on their way to and from school.

Please express your support for amendments to fix both those shortcomings:

  • Rep. Petri (R-WI) will offer an amendment that restores dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School programs.
  • A second amendment will require states to prioritize repairing bridges first, unless their bridges are in good condition — providing much-needed accountability that states are taking care of the most pressing problems first.

We need your help to support these amendments. If your representative is on the committee, please tell him or her to vote for them. If not, please ask your representative to urge their committee colleagues to vote for them.

Now is the time to stand up for safer roads.

Please take a moment to contact your member of Congress today.

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