Thursday, February 9, 2012

Help Rails to Trails Conservancy Defeat Multiyear Transportation Bill

Those of us that live in the geographical footprint of the "Town of Fallsburg" know the importance of our own small rail corridor...well, if Republicans have their way, such Rail Trails, hiking and biking paths are in serious jeopardy, and the Rails to Trails Conservancy is asking for your help.
Press Release

Some are calling the draft multiyear transportation bill being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives "the worst bill ever."

It's hard to disagree with this regrettable distinction from a trails, walking and bicycling perspective. We need to stop the bill, now!
The bill as it is currently written would:
  • Eliminate dedicated funding for trails, walking and bicycling;
  • Destroy long-term dedicated funding for transit created by the Reagan Administration;
  • Do away with the rail-trail eligibility category in the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program;
  • Put our children in harm's way by eliminating the Safe Routes to School program;
  • Fail to maximize its job creation potential, since trail, walking and bicycling projects create substantially more jobs per dollar than do highway projects;
  • Increase America's dependence on foreign oil; and
  • Contribute to our growing health and obesity crises.
The bill could come to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in the next few days. Since it is beyond possibility of repair, we need to ensure that it does not leave the House floor.

I'll be doing everything in my power to ensure this bill is defeated in the House. I truly hope you'll join me.

Even as we are working feverishly to defeat this House bill, please note that a Senate bill--which also fails to preserve dedicated funding for trails, walking and bicycling--will likely come to the Senate floor for debate and a vote next week as well. (When it rains, it pours!) We'll be messaging you about that, too. Apologies in advance for so many messages from us in so short a timeframe, but please know that we wouldn't write you so much if it weren't absolutely necessary.

Thank you much,

Kevin Mills
Vice President of Policy and Trail Development
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy