Palmetto Cycling Coalition Alert
July 7, 2011 

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Contact your Members of Congress today!

Good evening,


We just found out some very bad news, which we urge you to take action on immediately: dedicated funding for bicycling and walking is in jeopardy based upon House and Senate Transportation proposals released today. 


This funding has supported projects that we all know and love--like sections of the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, pathways in Hilton Head, mountain bike trails (FATS and others) in the Central Savannah River Area, and parts of the Swamp Rabbit in Greenville. Without this funding, these projects and similar ones in the future will be in jeopardy. 


Today, Congressman John Mica of Florida, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, outlined his plans for the new transportation bill and called for the elimination of dedicated funding for biking and walking programs, which he suggested are "not in the national interest."


In the Senate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma is leading a similar attack. Inhofe, a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said that one of his top-three priorities for the next multi-year federal transportation bill is to eliminate "frivolous spending for bike trails."


If Representative Mica and Senator Inhofe get their way, dedicated funding for three crucial programs -- Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements, and Recreational Trails -- will be eliminated. The cost-effective federal investment in bicycling that is making our nation better will shrink dramatically.  


We can't allow this to happen.


Visit the League of American Bicyclists' action center to send the message to Sen. DeMint, Sen. Graham and your Representative in Congress. In a year when South Carolina is on track to break a new record for bicycle and pedestrians deaths, we must stand up to protect bicycle and pedestrian funding. 


Thanks for your support and quick response. 


Rachael Kefalos

Palmetto Cycling Coalition 

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Contact your Members of Congress today!



Frivolous Spending? 

"Frivolous spending" on bicyclists and pedestrians could save thousands of lives each year. Bicyclists and pedestrians are the victims of reckless highway design, accounting for 14% of all traffic related deaths. Bicycling and walking programs build sidewalks, crosswalks and bikeways, improving accessibility and saving lives. In South Carolina, ranking 49th out of 50 for bike safety, we cannot afford to lose what little funding we have.  

Not in the National Interest? 

Biking and walking are certainly in the national interest, making up 12 percent of all trips in the US - even as funding for biking and walking projects only account for 1.5% of the federal transportation budget. - that's more than 4 billion bicycle trips and 40 billion walking trips a year- including trips to work, school, shopping and for recreation and tourism.  

The Facts.  

Biking and walking are important forms of transportation, and dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements is a very efficient use of federal transportation dollars.  


These projects also create jobs, and build local economies.  Building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure creates 46% more jobs than building road-only projects per million dollars spent.  Cities that invest in bicycle and pedestrian projects turn downtowns into destinations, and capitalize on increased business activity.


Finally, shifting 1.5% of transportation spending has no impact on the federal budget, but instead, decreases transportation options for American families in a time of rising gas prices and an uncertain economy. The loss of this dedicated funding is an enormous step backwards for South Carolina and the nation as a whole.



Take action, and thanks! 

Contact your Members of Congress today.   

Thanks to the Alliance for helping us craft this message in a timely fashion!