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Transit Crisis!

April 21, 2010

Photo Source: Transportation for America

Riders who rely on public transportation and transit workers across the country today launched a series of actions over several days to rally support for emergency funding to prevent draconian service cuts, layoffs and fare hikes in more than 150 systems nationwide.

The Transportation Equity Network (TEN), an alliance of local and state groups across the country, held a “Save Transit!” day of action as Transportation for America (T4America) launched a new and expanded online database capturing the thousands of service cuts and fare hikes across the country.

“At a time when our national economy is on the brink of recovery, and Americans across the country are demanding increased access to transportation options, transit systems should not have to cut service and raise fares, but should have the support of Congress,” said James Corless, campaign director for T4America. “This is a national crisis that needs a national response, now.”

In a headlining event in Atlanta, Georgia, where MARTA is faced with eliminating 30 percent of its routes, members of the local Amalgamated Transit Union, community leaders and transit supporters rallied and painted huge red Xes on buses and trains to illustrate what the severity of local cuts should the transit system receive no Congressional or state aid before June.

“America’s transit systems are in crisis just when we need them the most – for access to jobs, education, health care and opportunity,” said Laura Barrett, executive director of the Transportation Equity Network. “Service cuts and fare hikes are hitting low-income people, people of color, students, retirees and the disabled especially hard, and they’re robbing all of us of a proven engine of economic growth. TEN is calling on Congress to keep America moving by letting our transit agencies use federal funds for operating expenses.”

The “Save Transit!” rallies are being organized by TEN, a non-profit coalition that is raising awareness about the impact of service cuts and fare increases on mass transit riders around the country. For more information, including interviews with participants or photos from the events, please contact Paula Chrin Dibley at 202-478-6138 or pchrin@mrss.com.

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Clean Transportation Bill – Contact Your Senators!

April 21, 2010

For far too long, America has been in a transportation rut, pouring money into systems that increase our emissions and oil dependency. What’s more, in too many of our communities we have failed to invest in efficient transportation options like public transportation, passenger rail, and increased safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

This is our chance to change that.

By putting significant resources behind a plan to build clean transportation options, we’ll not only help meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and reduce our dependence on oil, we’ll also create thousands of new jobs, save consumers money, and make our communities better places to live, work, and play.

This climate change bill is an opportunity to make serious progress. But with transportation accounting for nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of our oil usage, clean transportation options must be part of the final legislation if we expect it to do the job.

Tell your Senators that a comprehensive climate bill must include adequate funding for clean transportation options. Click here to tell them we want big, bold changes this year!

US Bikeways Project

April 21, 2010

Adventure Cycling Association is working with a number of states on planning, routing and overall implementation of the National Corridor Plan into on-the-ground routes. Here’s a few that they are working with right now: Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, and Washington. Other states are just getting started: North Dakota, Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Utah. And still more are reported to be ready to go: Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. All these states are in different stages of development and have varied techniques for implementation based upon resources, volunteers, and governmental structure. For more information, click here.

Trenton Cycling Revolution thinks this is a great idea; we just wish New Jersey were listed. Let’s make this happen in the Garden State!

TCR Endorses Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act

April 20, 2010

At our March meeting, our members voted unanimously for Trenton Cycling Revolution to endorse the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act.  This one-page SHIPA Information Sheet provides a great overview of the legislation. TCR hopes Congress will pass this important bill to protect our roadways, as well as the cyclists and pedestrians who share them!

Hubsmith to Testify on Bike/Ped Safety Before Senate Committee

April 14, 2010

On Wednesday, April 14, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will be holding a hearing on transportation safety. This hearing is part of a series meant to gather input and recommendations for the next surface transportation authorization bill.

Deb Hubsmith, Director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, is one of seven witnesses that will be testifying at the hearing. She will be addressing bicycle and pedestrian safety in her testimony, particularly as it pertains to children and Safe Routes to School.

In her remarks, Hubsmith calls attention to the grave disparities between the number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed each year in traffic crashes and the small proportion of funding that is used by states to address bicycle and pedestrian safety. Nationwide, more than 5,000 pedestrians and cyclists were killed on U.S. roads in 2008, representing 13 percent of all traffic fatalities. Yet, states have dedicated just 1.2 percent of their SAFETEA-LU funds and 0.6 percent of federal safety funds to bicycling and walking, which are common and increasingly popular modes of transportation; 12 percent of trips in America are already made on foot or by bike.

Hubsmith highlights a number of programs, including Safe Routes to School, and studies that are improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. She also urges the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to take several steps to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in the next transportation bill, including:

  • Increasing funding for Safe Routes to School and other bicycle and pedestrian transportation programs;
  • Supporting Complete Streets;
  • Creating benchmarks for transportation safety that include goals to reduce fatalities and crashes for all modes, including bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • Collecting more bicycle and pedestrian data; and
  • Supporting innovative designs that have been shown to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.

The hearing will be broadcast live on April 14, 2010 starting at approximately 10:00 a.m. from the website of the EPW Committee.  An archived copy will also be available for future viewing after the hearing is over.

Trenton Cycling Revolution supports this effort and hopes to create more safe routes to school here in our own city!

Do Any Trenton Mayoral Candidates Bike?

April 10, 2010

Photo source: mercerspace.com

Some of the candidates for Mayor in the City of Trenton have proposed getting rid of city-owned vehicles if elected. Are any of the candidates willing to bike to work? How often? How far? On which city streets do you feel safest while biking?

Scudder Falls Bridge Expansion Needs a Bike Lane

February 3, 2010

Our friends at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia have done a great job galvanizing support for a bike and pedestrian lane on the proposed Scudder Falls Bridge expansion. Trenton Cycling Revolution submitted public comments to support the inclusion of such a lane and we hope to see it built soon!