We learned last week, with the release of the League of American Bicyclists Fair Share for Safety from the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) report, and Transportation for America’s Dangerous by Design report, that the federal government and many state departments of transportation have made a dangerous choice by prioritizing speeding traffic over the safety of people.
Now is a critical time to tell our members of Congress to stop prioritizing speeding traffic over the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
From 2000 to 2009, 47,700 Americans were struck and killed while walking and another 688,000 were injured. Furthermore, since 2009, only half a dozen states actually dedicated Highway Safety Funds specifically to bicycle and pedestrian projects. This is clearly a national problem, as 67 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in the last ten years occurred on federal-aid roads eligible to receive federal funding for improvements.
Congress is currently contemplating the elimination of key bicycle and pedestrian funding programs in the next transportation bill such as, Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and the Recreational Trails program.
What can you do?
- Contact your Representative today and tell them that without dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects and the Complete Streets Act of 2011, H.R. 1780, to ensure that all federally funded road projects take into account the needs of all users, states will likely reduce spending for safety features like sidewalks, crosswalks and trails.
- Stay vigilant for updates on the next federal transportation bill in coming weeks, so you can add your voice to a grassroots mobilization to retain dedicated funding for biking and walking. (First step: Register for our next Federal Policy Call on June 9.)
- Use the release of the Dangerous by Design report to raise awareness about pedestrian deaths and injuries in your community. Contact reporters, send a press release, write an op-ed or submit a letter to the editor. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Alliance Communications Coordinator, Carolyn Szczepanski, atCarolyn@PeoplePoweredMovement.org.
- Read the latest Advocacy Advance report on the Highway Safety Improvement Program, which outlines ways you can access funding for bike/ped safety in your community and highlights successes from advocates in a number of states.
- Schedule an in-district event with your members of Congress to show them how improvements to pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure are making a difference. Highlight a high crash spot and how federal funding is not supporting the safety of all road users. Tell your member we need to change this through dedicated funding for biking and walking AND the passage of a national complete streets bill.
Our transportation system should work for everyone. It’s time to make our roads safe and accessible for all users.