Thursday, July 7, 2011

Open letter to Kenny Marchant, Kay Hutchinson, and John Cornyn: please support federal funding for bicycling

I just received an email from People for Bikes, an organization that advocates for cycling.  This is the opening paragraph of that email:
Today, Congressman John Mica of Florida, Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, outlined his plans for the new transportation bill and called for the elimination of dedicated funding for biking and walking programs, which he suggested, “do not serve a federal purpose.”
Please take a moment to write to your representatives and ask that they continue to support federal funding for bicycling infrastructure.  People for Bikes has made it easy for you - click on this link to get started.

My open letter to Kenny Marchant, Kay Hutchinson, and John Cornyn: please support federal funding for bicycling.

Please support continuing, dedicated funding for bicycling and walking programs in the next federal transportation bill. 
I personally ride my bicycle around my neighborhood, to the store, to work, and just for fun and exercise.  I have ridden all over North Texas as well as multiple other states in this great nation and it would be a great loss to me personally as well as the country to lose federal funding for bicycling as a mode of transportation.
Americans face problems of dependence on fossil fuels (both domestic and foreign), rising gas prices, rising rates of obesity, pollution that produces smog in our cities and ultimately contributes to greenhouse gasses and global warming.  An easy, simple, and clear solution is available for all of these issues:  replace driving a car with riding a bicycle as often as possible.
Bicycles are much smaller than most cars and that allows many more people to use the road simultaneously.
In my experience, cyclists are helpful and friendly, often stopping to help each other out with a flat tire.  How often do drivers do that?  Cycling keeps transportation human:  the other person is clearly visible and we see each other as a person riding a bike, not just another car on the road.  That difference is subtle but important. 

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