Snow-bound today with nothing to do? Why not send an e-mail to the government? Here’s something to consider: The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) is urging U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to establish measurable national goals for bicyclist and pedestrian safety. (For details, read the League’s Action Alert.) LaHood is known to be a bike-friendly guy, but he has to work within the confines of government, with other government officials who aren’t as sympathetic to the cause. This is where your support comes in.
A little background first…
MAP-21, the new federal transportation law, requires the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to establish safety performance measures for states to meet, but it fails to specifically address the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists and pedestrians make up almost 16% of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States—an increase of 4% in the last two years. As people ride their bikes and walk more each day, specific, measurable safety initiatives are needed. However, according to LAB:
MAP-21 almost doubled the amount of funding available for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), a program run by state Departments of Transportation. Unfortunately, that program has woefully small investments in bike/ped safety projects: Only seven states have spent any of these funds on bike/ped projects, and combined they’ve spent less than 0.5% of the funds annually.
Send an e-mail to Secretary LaHood.
The LAB has provided a message template at the bottom of its Action Alert. You just have to fill in the blanks and hit “send.” By taking a few minutes to fill out the form, you strengthen the pro-cycling message and help promote bike safety across the country.