Congressional Listening Tour Comes to Washington

What does a Representative from Florida have to do with Washington State transportation? The answer: EVERYTHING.

Representative John Mica (R-FL), House Chair of the Transportation and Infrastucture Committee, travels to Washington on Monday, February 21st for one of a series of 14 national field hearings and public forums on the pending major surface transportation legislation.  The hearings with state and local officials and transportation stakeholders will help inform the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s drafting of a long-term reauthorization of the nation’s highway, transit, highway safety programs. The previous multi-year law (SAFETEA-LU) expired in September, 2009.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), from the 3rd Congressional District (Southwest WA) who also sits on Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with Representative Mica, will host the public hearing at the Vancouver PUD, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver from 9 to 11a.m. on the 21st of February. Eight officials have been invited to speak and then it will be open to the public for testimony.

The Bicycle Alliance is calling on bicyclists and pedestrians in the 3rd Congressional District to attend the hearing or submit written copy to Representative Herrara this week and make two critical points:

  1. Bicycling and walking are essential to your community (include an example that make the point).
  2. Ask her to support continued dedicated federal funding for bicycling and walking programs.

Here are a few reasons why we should support biking and walking:

  • It’s cost effective: It’s about saving money on popular practical ways for Americans to complete short trips. It’s cost effective – 12% of trips are biking or walking trips but the federal expenditure is only about 1.5% of federal spending.
  • It’s popular: more bicycles will be sold than cars and trucks combined. US Census reports that bike commuting increased more than 40% between 2001-2008.
  • It’s practical: half of all trips are three miles or shorter and ¼ are less than a mile – an easy distance to walk or pedal if the conditions are safe.
  • It addresses safety; it’s healthy; and it saves money.

Please ask Representative Herrera to support continued dedicated funding for vital bicycling and walking programs such as Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School.

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