Hi Fellow Cyclists & Neighbors,
Our legislators were due back in Olympia today for a special session, and transportation funding is one of the last big decisions to make. Please join me by asking them to support biking, walking & transit, by clicking on the “Take Action Now” button in Matthew Green’s email below, to send a message to your local legislators. It only takes a minute to do this. I sent my message to them. Also, you might consider making a donation to Cascade Bicycle Club’s Education Foundation after you write your legislators. You can donate to Cascade on GiveBig 2013 Day, Wednesday May 15th, which will stretch your donation dollars even further.
I feel that by writing to our legislators it also helps to support better & safer cycling options for the Edmonds School District children who are participating in our Basics Of Bicycling program in their PE classes. Last Thursday morning at Mountlake Terrace Elementary School’s Bike To School Day, we counted ~50 bikes in their bike racks. The young children arriving towards the end (shortly before classes began) had to actually search awhile to find an empty spot to lock their bicycles…wow, what a success! The City of Mountlake Terrace staff & police also helped to make this event a real success.
The Basics Of Bicycling program is being brought to the Edmonds School District by the folks at Cascade Bicycle Club and our Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group, through funding from our numerous sponsors (Hazel Miller Foundation, Swedish/Edmonds, Group Health, Verdant Health Commission, Safe Routes To School, B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County, and Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group member donations).
Mountlake Terrace News – Elementary School’s bike helmet giveaway & fitting event earlier this month:
The state legislative work isn’t quite done for this year. Legislators are due back in Olympia on May 13 for a special session, and transportation funding is one of the last big decisions to make.
But what kind of transportation will be funded? Will we see a repeat of 2003 and 2005, when new revenue went entirely to expanding highways? Or will we pay attention to the needs of the fast-growing number of people who – by choice or necessity – get around by bike, bus or foot?
The Legislature’s final transportation debate this session is over the proposed transportation revenue package. If approved, this package would increase the gas tax plus various transportation-related fees to raise about $8.4 billion in additional revenue over the next twelve years.
Cascade Bicycle Club has mixed feelings about the proposed package. There are good elements, such as increased funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, road maintenance, managing stormwater runoff from roads, and transit, including crucial options for local communities to raise their own revenue to support transit.
Unfortunately, there also are bad elements, namely the billions of dollars – 64% of the entire package – for roads, mostly for a few highway projects. And many of those are just partially funded, and commit us to hugely expensive mega-projects, which will require billions more down the road. (Read more about the package here.)
Many of the best parts of the package came about due to late-April efforts from the House Transportation Committee to add significantly more funding for bicycle, pedestrian, and transit needs. That’s an improvement, but we can do better.
The Senate version of the package has much less money for bikes, sidewalks and buses. Right now, legislators are trying to cut a final deal. They need to hear from you. They need to hear – loud and clear – that their constituents want safe transportation choices, and to maintain the roads and trails we already have – instead of pouring most of our resources into highway expansions.
This is the last chance to influence your legislators this session. They are back in session on Monday, and could bring the transportation revenue package up for a vote at any time. Please act today.
Legislative Affairs Manager
Cascade Bicycle Club
P.S. If legislators don’t hear from you, they will keep listening to the well-heeled highway lobby. Let them know what you care about. Please contact your legislators today!