Cardin-Cochran amendment in peril…

We’ve talked a bit about the repeated attacks against alternative transportation infrastructure funding over the past few months. It’s the same old story: some of our elected officials are trying to save money by going after what they think is “low hanging fruit”…meanwhile, congestion in our cities increases, we’re getting fatter as a nation and our reliance on oil is cruising along unabated. “Alternative” (something other than cars) transportation improvements, whether they be mass-transit, pedestrian or cycling-based, give lots of benefits for the money. Don’t believe me? Check out this editorial from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, where the author enumerates the many benefits being experienced by a city that decided to “do the right thing” and start building bike-friendly infrastructure.

Transportation for America sent us an advisory on some upcoming business in the U.S. Senate:

As the House and Senate negotiations continue, we need you to help defend a crucial provision in the Senate bill that is under attack.

Known as the Cardin-Cochran amendment, it would help our cities and towns revitalize Main streets, improve public health, and make streets safer for everyone who uses them. It does that by giving them the ability to make choices about how transportation dollars are spent in their communities.

Can you take just a minute to tell your senators and representative to preserve and defend the Cardin-Cochran amendment?

Many of you wrote your senators about this amendment back in February, resulting in a huge victory when it won bipartisan support and was included in the Senate bill. But it’s under attack right now and could be scrapped as the House and Senate negotiate a final transportation bill if we don’t fight for it. Today.

If this important provision isn’t included in the final transportation bill, Congress would take transportation choices away from local governments and give the state sole power over them.

Senators already recognized that they should give control and choice back to local governments to invest in the smaller projects in their communities that revitalize their communities while building out a full transportation network that is safe for everyone.

These issues are being decided this week in the conference negotiations. So please tell your Senator and representative to preserve the Cardin-Cochran provision.

Thanks for your support,

Stephen Lee Davis
Deputy Communications Director
Transportation for America

It only takes a minute to let your elected officials know how you feel about the Cardin-Cochran amendment (and improving transportation infrastructure in general). Please help keep this provision as part of the Senate bill.


3 Comments

  1. BluesCat June 4, 2012 10:49 am 

    Done! Once again, it seems like it is the conservative Republicans who are against funding for bicycling and walking.

    What is it about bikes and feet that they don’t get? I’ve often thought it is because they are in the pockets of Big Oil and Big Auto, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s simply all about it being perceived as a “Democratic” issue and therefore something they cannot abide … at ANY cost.

    If so, how can people justify — in their own minds — voting for a “representative” who cares more about his/her political party’s welfare than the welfare of his/her constituents?

  2. Elizabeth June 4, 2012 6:24 pm 

    The League of American Bicyclists sent out the call to action in their email blast today too.

    Having attended the National Bike Summit in March to advocate for saving cycling then when the Transportation Bill was imminent, it amazes me that it continues to get dragged out for so long. What is so hard or costly about preserving cycling and walking?

  3. Graham June 5, 2012 7:10 am 

    BluesCat – I’m beginning to think that some people have a really hard time with “new” things. (By which I mean, “new to them”) These people seem to automatically reject “new” ideas. Perhaps they can’t abide the implicit criticism of how they prefer to do things, or maybe they’re simply wired that way… who knows?

    It doesn’t seem to matter what the new idea is. If it proposes to change the status quo then they are against it. As a teacher and a fan of what I call “elegant solutions” (ideas that solve more than one problem at a time) I find this outlook frustrating, but I have to see anyone successfully engage it.

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