Thursday, September 17, 2009

Letters to Senators Harkin and Grassley

From Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Transportation Enhancements (TE), the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling, have frequently come under attack, but Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and our supporters have consistently risen to the challenge of defending this popular and important program.

Such was the case this week when U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (Okla.) and John McCain (Ariz.) submitted two amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. If these amendments had passed, they would have eliminated TE, which provides the majority of available federal funds for trails, walking and bicycling. In response to this attack, RTC issued an e-mail alert on Tuesday, September 15, asking supporters to call their U.S. Senators and ask them to vote against the two amendments. Given less than 24 hours’ notice before the vote on September 16, hundreds of you acted and helped sway this crucial vote.

Amendment 2370 would have prohibited the use of federal funds for pedestrian or bicycle facilities, efforts to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, and other specified TE projects if the Highway Trust Fund cannot cover unfunded highway authorizations. Sensing minimal support, Senator Coburn withdrew Amendment 2370 on the floor of the Senate.

Amendment 2371 would have eliminated the current set-aside that ensures funding for TE in all states. Responding to your calls to their offices, the Senate defeated Amendment 2371 by a margin of 59-39.

This is an important victory. But the fact that 39 senators—including both Democrats and Republicans—voted in favor of the amendment indicates that many senators do not fully realize the value such assets provide our communities. Please communicate this value to them now.



---------------------------

Sep 17, 2009

Senator Tom Harkin
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 731
Constitution Avenue and 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20510-1502

Dear Senator Harkin,

Thank you for voting against Amendment 2371 on H.R. 3288, the
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

Four and a half years ago I suffered a stroke caused by a failed heart
valve. After my cardiac rehab I took up bicycling to continue my
recovery. Bicycling and walking trails in our area have been a key for
my remarkable recovery.

We need to encourage more people to take to the walkways and trails.
Because I have taking up riding bicycles, my doctors say I am in better
physical health than I have been years. Besides, I have been able to
stop taking anti-depressants.

Thanks again for your vote. You are doing a great job.

Sincerely,

Tom Winfield

------------------------------------

Sep 17, 2009

Senator Charles Grassley
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 135
Constitution Avenue and 2nd Street, NE
Washington, DC 20510-1501

Dear Senator Grassley,

I am concerned that you voted for Amendment 2371 on H.R. 3288, the
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

Four and a half years ago I suffered a stroke caused by a failed heart
valve. After my cardiac rehab I took up bicycling to continue my
recovery. Bicycling and walking trails in our area have been a key for
my remarkable recovery.

We need to encourage more people to take to the walkways and trails.
Because I have taking up riding bicycles, my doctors say I am in better
physical health than I have been years. Besides, I have been able to
stop taking anti-depressants.

Senator, I am very concerned with your vote. We need trails and
walkways as a part of a national wellness program. Your vote and your
negative attitude toward the President's health plan makes me wonder if
you are promoting higher health costs.

Sincerely,

Mr. Tom Winfield

1 comment:

sarah said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alena

http://grantfoundation.net