Friday, February 6, 2009

Stimulus Amendment To Prohibit Bike Funding

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has offered an amendment to specifically prohibit funding for bicycles, walking and offroad vehicles.

The amendment, which states: "Prohibition on use of funds for trails and off-road vehicle routes. None of the funds made available under this Act shall be used for bicycle, walking, or wildnerness trails, or off-road vehicle routes," has been offered but not introduced.

Alert your Senators and urge them to vote against such amendments and ensure that funding for bicycle infrastructure remain eligible under the transportation funds provided in the stimulus package.

DeMint, who is chair of the Senate Steering Committee, said “When people see bike trails and hiking trails and golf courses, they know this is not designed to stimulate the economy and create jobs. It’s just basically special-interest pork barrel spending.”

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) rebuffs this argument, stating, "Investment in bike paths will not only improve our economy, and take our country in the right direction for our future; it is precisely the kind of investment the American people want. American families have indicated time and again in the passage of bond measures across the country that they favor spending on alternative transportation, such as bicycles and mass transit, over spending on more highway capacity.

"Americans want a real solution to the economic crisis, not just a band-aid fix. These investments will stimulate the economy in the present and point our nation toward the economic and environmental realities of the future.”

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