Ride Boldly!

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Bicycle Day in Congress: March 22, 2012

CongressToday, at the National Bike Summit in Washington DC, bicycle advocates and educators present will be calling on members of Congress to urge them to adopt fair, non-partisan transportation bills and to preserve biking/walking as supported infrastructure options on the federal level. BikeMN is leading the Minnesota delegation, and has arranged legislative visits for all of the Minnesotans in DC for the event.

For those of us not in attendance, we can still help by contacting our Senators and Representatives via phone and e-mail, echoing the sentiments of the people showing up in person. It’s pretty easy to do. Each state/district has a factsheet online. BikeMN has also created a full-state factsheet. Take a look at these factsheets, then pick up the phone or fire up your e-mail and send a message to our legislators.

Minnesota Senators:

Thank the senators for the their leadership in preserving funding for biking and walking programs in the Senate Transportation Bill, MAP-21. Also, ask them to support a clean extension of the current Transportation Bill. Passing a short-term clean extension will allow the House to focus on crafting a truly bipartisan Transportation Bill. Anything other than a clean extension threatens to shut down transportation funding and slow down progress in advancing all forms of transport and transportation.

Minnesota Representatives:

Ask your Representative to preserve funding for biking and walking in HR7. The Minnesota delegation’s specific “ask” is for each to vote to maintain funding for the three core biking and walking programs” Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreational Trails Program. As with the Senators, ask them to support a clean extension of the current Transportation Bill. Passing a short-term clean extension will allow the House to focus on crafting a truly bipartisan Transportation Bill. Ask each to contribute towards efforts to come to such a solution.

As you call, it is worth noting that Representatives Cravaack and Walz are on the House Transportation Committee, Representative Paulsen is on the powerful Ways & Means Committee (and opposed a committee measure to prohibit transportation funding use for transit), and Representative McCollum is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees. Representatives Ellison, McCollum, Paulsen, and Walz are all members of the Congressional Bike Caucus.

So, go and check out the factsheets, and call or e-mail your representative in support of BikeMN and the other folks from Minnesota in DC today making in-person visits! (Not from Minnesota? Find your peeps here, and support your own delegation. We’re all one happy family, right?)

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

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