Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Bike Funding. On the Cutting Block. Again (x2).
Last night, I sat down and wrote a letter. I actually ended up writing two letters. Saying the same thing. To two SC VIPs: US Senator Lindsey Graham and US Senator Jim DeMint. I explained to them why having dedicated funding for bicycling infrastructure and programs was important, why they should vote in favor of these things and to pass a clean extension to the transportation bill.
This photo was not contrived. I wear glasses. I drank a beer while writing it. I signed it with that pen. And it felt great.
Bike funding is on the cutting block. Again. It happened last year. It happened this summer. And it's happening again. The bicycle community - anyone from identified advocates to families who enjoy recreational rides on the weekend - is being urged to contact their US Senators. (The opposition is coming from US Senator Coburn, R-OK.) He's saying that he won't support the transportation bill if there are any bike-related funding programs. Tell your Senators that you love your bike lanes, trails, your education and awareness (SRTS) programs, and that cutting funding is not a good idea.
I spent some time in Wisconsin before moving to South Carolina. During my time in Wisconsin, I learned a bit about the democratic process, how to engage in it, why it matters and that thousands of individuals can make a difference. My time their inspired me, pushed me to actually write this letter.
Will this letter get read by either Senator? At best, it will get read by an intern or staffer, and just be placed in the "support" pile. But I see this as a win! Because all of those letters, phone calls and emails could stack up and make a difference.
I encourage you to consider contacting your US Senator. If you're in SC, then you can contact the same guys I did. If you're not in SC, then do a quick search, find out who they are (if you don't know) and contact them via email, phone or by the good ole USPS. Tell them....I bike and I vote!
Update on the Federal Funding Bill: the bill passed last week.