Dear Campaign Advocate,
Within a few weeks of U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) introduction of H.R. 4722, the Active Community Transportation Act (ACT Act) of 2010, thousands of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) supporters have asked their representatives to co-sponsor the bill. To date, 26 representatives have done so.
Please join us on one final push* for co-sponsorship before Congress departs for a two-week recess (to begin on Monday, March 29). As local leaders, please consider taking any of the following appropriate actions:
The ACT Act is the result of your hard work on the Campaign for Active Transportation, and is the means by which our goal of concentrated federal investments to shift trips to bicycling and walking can be realized. The competitive grant program at the U.S. Department of Transportation that would be created by the ACT Act is the best way to scope and prioritize where to make investments to maximize mode shift. The criteria that would be used to allocate funds favor communities—like yours—that have thought through how to achieve this and built the public support necessary for implementation.
Finally, in case you didn’t hear, on March 15, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a policy statement substantially raising the priority of walking and bicycling across the country. The statement notes:
Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide — including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life — transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.
Talk about a shift! This policy statement reflects the momentum we are riding and influencing through the ACT Act. Thank you for your support on this important effort.
* Although the March 29 target date would make the greatest immediate impact prior to recess, actions following this date continue to have significant impact as momentum for the legislation builds.