Lobbying Our Representatives About Bicycling Funding
National Bike Summit in March Coming At Critical Time
|In mid-February, a delegation of Bicycle Coalition members and staff visited Congressman Pat Meehan (PA-07) in his Springfield, PA office. (We were accompanied by Spencer Finch of Pennsylvania Environmental Council). We asked him to reject H.R. 7 if and when it came up for a vote. |
H.R. 7 would have trashed funding for bicycling and walking (plus kicked public transit out of the Highway Trust Fund). We never learned the effect of our conversation with Meehan, as House Speaker Boehner couldn't muster enough votes to get the bill out of the House.
The fight isn't over, and neither are our efforts to tell our elected officials the importance of preserving bicycling and pedestrian funding. The National Bike Summit is happening March 20-22 in Washington DC. Find out how you can join this vital lobbying effort on our blog and from the League of American Bicyclists.
State of the TIGER: Oh How Far Funding Can Go
In the deficit fights occurring in Washington, $23 million is small bills. Yet $23 million is having a huge impact here in the Greater Philadelphia Region, improving our health, our transportation, and our quality of life to a degree far beyond what $23 million could get you in, oh, say, highway spending.
Two years ago, Philadelphia and Camden were awarded a $23 million dollar TIGER grant to build 10 sections of multi-use trail.
Four of those projects started construction last month:
- 58th Street Greenway (expected completion in late summer)
- Walnut Street Bridge Gateway (expected completion in fall)
- Shawmont Ave to Montgomery County Line (expected completion in summer)
- Bartram's Garden (expected completion in summer)
Another project has been under construction since June 2011 (the Connector Bridge at Schuylkill River Park, which should be completed by this fall), which make five out of ten projects underway. We are looking forward to some ribbon cuttings in the next six to nine months!
You can see a more comprehensive recap of the status of the ten TIGER projects on our blog. But here's the takeaway: look what $23 million is building. Bicycling and pedestrian funding should be protected because, in a time when every penny counts, we should spend the pennies which give us the most in return.
|Bartram's Garden trail (artist conception)|
Update On 10th Street Bike Lane Through Chinatown
Last week we hosted a conversation between the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities, and ourselves. The topic was the 10th Street bike lane through Chinatown.
Data, or the lack thereof, was the dominant theme of the conversation. PCDC is hearing from Chinatown merchants who say the bike lane is negatively impacting their business. But PCDC has yet to conduct a formal survey of merchants or shoppers, or see numbers behind the merchants' perceptions. Charles Carmalt of MOTU said the City is still evaluating traffic data on the street. We emphasized that pavement conditions and persistent construction have rendered the bike lane shoddy, and that it will be difficult to separate the many variables currently impacting traffic volumes and business impact.
We will provide updates as we learn more about the bike lane's future. A full recap of the meeting is available on our blog.
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Philadelphia, PA 19102