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E-M:/ FW: Transportation Enhancement Funding in Jeopardy



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Enviro-Mich message from Tom & Anne Woiwode <woiwode@voyager.net>
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The latest on the Enhancements funding in the Transportation bill.
Congressman Knollenberg and Congresswoman Kilpatrick are key legistators in
this issue.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tom, Anne, Nate and Pete Woiwode
5088 Powell Road
Okemos, MI 48864



-----Original Message-----
From: USCPRC USCPRC [mailto:uscprc@gwm.sc.edu]
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2003 3:32 PM
To: PHYS-ACT@LISTSERV.SC.EDU
Subject: Transportation Enhancement Funding in Jeopardy

FYI,

*********************************************************************
July 24, 2003


Contact:
Martha Roskowski                        Barbara Culp
America Bikes                   Bicycle Alliance of Washington
202-833-8080                            206/224-9252
martha@americabikes.org         barbc@bicyclealliance.org


BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN FUNDING GETS THE AXE
Transportation Enhancements funding eliminated, despite assurances
otherwise.


Despite significant public support, the House Appropriations Committee
today approved a 2004 transportation budget that expressly eliminates
funding bicycle and pedestrian pathways as well as other community
improvements. The Committee action zeroed out funding for the popular
Transportation Enhancements program.

"We are extremely disappointed in the Committee's action today," says
Martha Roskowski of advocacy group America Bikes. "Two weeks ago,
Representative Istook (R-OK) wrote a subcommittee bill that stripped
funding for Enhancements. After significant public pressure, Istook
said
he would offer an amendment to restore the funds.  His amendment,
which
passed today, does nothing of the sort."

Istook's original language not only stripped funding for the popular
Transportation Enhancements program, it also prohibited other
transportation funds from being spent on bicycle, pedestrian and
historic
preservation projects. The new language lifts the prohibition, but
still
expressly eliminates the $600 million intended for the Enhancements
program in 2004.

Representative John Olver (D-MA) led an attempt to restore the program
in
committee action, but the amendment failed by a 29 to 33 vote, with
two
Republicans, Ray LaHood from Illinois and Mike Simpson of Idaho,
supporting the measure.

"The Transportation Enhancements program is tremendously valuable, and
I
will fight to save it," said Olver, who said he would offer another
amendment when the measure comes up before the full House of
Representatives in early September.

"Bicycle and pedestrian trails are among the most popular
Transportation
Enhancement projects," Olver added. "Not only do these trails provide
a
means for recreation, commutation and fitness, but they can also
attract
people into downtown communities and serve as a magnet for economic
development."

Since 1991, the Transportation Enhancements program has built 8000
bicycle
and pedestrian projects in communities large and small across the
country.
"Transportation Enhancements account for less than 2 of every Federal
surface transportation dollar," says Keith Laughlin, President of the
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. "For less than 2 per dollar we get a
popular
program that supports locally-initiated transportation projects in
communities across America. Those who would eliminate this program
believe
that every single Federal penny should be spent on highways. I urge
Congress to reject such short-sighted thinking."

America Bikes and other organizations are mobilizing supporters across
the
country to contact their members of the House of Representatives to
restore funding for the Enhancements program. More information is
available at www.americabikes.org

# # #
Barbara Culp
Executive Director
Bicycle Alliance of Washington
PO Box 2904
Seattle, WA 98111
206/224-9252

Promoting bicycling for everyday transportation and recreation through
advocacy and education.





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