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Getting En Route

 

 

During the past several weeks, people across the country ditched their cars and hopped on their bicycles as part of Bike to Work Month. But commuting to work — and for children, school — could soon get more difficult, as bicycle and pedestrian programs are facing potentially devastating budget cuts.

We need your help to save these important initiatives.

Astute Inside Track readers might remember our recent profile of Deb Hubsmith, the director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Hubsmith helps communities find ways to encourage children to walk or bike to school by providing safe pedestrian and bicycle routes.

Hubsmith reports that bike and pedestrian projects are in trouble. As part of the recent budget deal, the two parties agreed to rescind, or take back, $2.5 billion in unspent transportation funds from states. It’s up to the states to decide which projects will provide the funds to send back.

Historically, bike and pedestrian projects are the first to go. For example, when states had to send back $2.2 billion in unspent transit funds last year, nearly half came from bike and walking programs (even though they represented just 7 percent of total transportation funding).

To make sure this doesn’t happen again, PreventObesity.net is teaming with Hubsmith and her colleagues at the national partnership to ask governors to make their transportation cuts across the board.

We’d like to launch our campaign in every state where we fear bike and pedestrian funding is at risk. However, before we do, we need to find out a little bit more about each state’s rescission process.

So we’re looking to you and the entire PreventObesity.net network for help. We need more information about the rescission process in the following states: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

If you think you can help, please send PreventObesity.net Co-Director Marty Kearns an email at marty@preventobesity.net. He’ll be sure to get in touch with you.

And if you live in one of the states we did not list, please take time to email your governor and ask him or her to make fair cuts across the board rather than target bike and walking projects. (If you’re from Washington, D.C., click here.)

Thanks for helping us out with this important effort to save these vital programs.

Click here to contact Deb Hubsmith.