Although it it true that NW Arkansas Representative Steve Womack believes that roads are for cars & trucks only and that bicycling and transportation funding do not go together, he did attend the Razorback Greenway groundbreaking June2012.
Womack's June 29, 2012 newsletter article on the bill simply stated that the bill "gives states funding for biking and walking trails as well as flexibility towards funding safety programs if they choose to do so". Perhaps since the amount of money devoted to the pool of options that now includes bicycle education and bicycle transportation planning is signigicantly smaller, and he personally witnessed the enthusiasm towards the Razorback Greenway of which he so strongly opposed funding, he is content to not editorialize on bicycle transportation spending. Choose the "Read More" link to understand more about lobbying Steve Womack on transportation issues.
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When contacting Womack, state that your concern is for transportation or economy or anything besides Recreation, which apparently is a sure-fire killword. Womack's form-letter response to the words "bicycle" or "trails" will contain these words:
"While walking and biking trails and venues are enjoyable and healthy additions to our communities, in this economic environment we cannot afford to take money from the HTF (Highway and Transportation Fund) that is vital to keeping our highways safely maintained.
"I believe this money should go first to improving the safety and quality of our existing interstate highways for all Americans. I am confident that communities with a desire for trail networks will garner local and private support to complete future projects."
House Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-FL) says that funding for bicycling and walking, including Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School and the Recreational Trails program are worthless.
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the lead Republican negotiator on the transportation bill, declared that one of his TOP THREE priorities for the transportation bill is to eliminate ‘frivolous spending for bike trails.’
Funding for Complete Streets (which accommodate all forms of transport, not just the automobile) needs to be included in the next 6-year Transportation Bill.
Contact information follows:
Do not tire of contacting Womack, Pryor and Boozeman with the message that bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure is important to you!
Here are some more Facts for your Letters, Emails and Phone Calls:
Not in the federal interest? Biking and walking make up 12 percent of all trips in the US – even as funding for biking and walking projects only accounts for 1.5% of the federal transportation budget. That is more than 4 billion bicycle trips and 40 billion walking trips a year, including trips to work, school, shopping and for recreation and tourism.
Frivolous? Two-thirds of all pedestrian deaths are on federally funded highways. One-third of children’s traffic deaths happen when children are walking or bicycling and are struck by cars. Bicycling and walking programs build sidewalks, crosswalks and bikeways—improving accessibility and saving lives.
- Biking and walking are important forms of transportation, and funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements is a very efficient use of federal transportation dollars. Portland, OR built 300 miles of bike lanes and trails for the cost of one mile of highway.
- These projects create jobs and build local economies. Building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure creates 46% more jobs than building road-only projects per million dollars spent. Cities that invest in bicycle and pedestrian projects turn downtowns into destinations, and capitalize on increased business activity.
- Eliminating the 1.5% of transportation funding spent on bike/ped would have no meaningful impact on the federal budget, but instead, decreases transportation options for American families in a time of rising gas prices and an uncertain economy.
Here's an article to support the idea that bicycle funding creates more jobs than roadway funding:
In addition, to speaking out for intelligent spending at the federal level, we need to improve Arkansas' spending priorities. NW Arkansas' regional Highway Commissioner, Dick Trammel,
has been instrumental in directing Arkansas transportation funds.
9954 S View Drive
Rogers, Arkansas 72756
Phone: (479) 621-1719
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