National Bike Summit: Bill FAQs

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Information about National Bike Summit: Bill FAQs
News & Politics

Published on February 24, 2014

Author: carolynbike



Background on the bills we'll be supporting at the 2014 National Bike Summit

Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act What is it? The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act requires the U.S. Department of Transportation set a specific performance measure for non-motorized safety, as well as for motorized safety. Once USDOT sets the measure, states will set their own safety targets for motorized and non-motorized safety. Over the past several years, states have had safety performance targets, and during that time overall fatalities on our roads have gone down. However, during that time fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians have been on the rise. We need a separate performance measure to ensure states focus on reducing these fatalities. Why should I support it? » The number of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities has risen for the past three years (2010 -2012) while overall traffic deaths have gone down dramatically. The percentage of fatalities that are bike/ped has risen from 12% to nearly 16%. » MAP-21, the current federal transportation law, requires USDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) establish safety performance measures for states to meet, but no performance measure related to the safety of people who bike and walk is currently being considered by FHWA. » 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 resulted in 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. » A simple safety measure, this bill states clearly that the lives of all roadway users are important — and creates accountability toward ending needless deaths. Without it, people who bike and walk will remain in the blindspot of our transportation system. Bill numbers To co-sponsor please contact HR 3494 and S 1708 House: Paul Balmer (Rep. Blumenauer): Kirk Bell (Rep. Coble): Senate: Liz Cooney (Sen. Merkley): Emily Lynch (Sen. Ayotte):

New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure What is it? Why should I support it? The New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act of 2014 would take steps to advance equity for bicyclists and pedestrians, and offer mayors and communities a new tool for funding for bike/ped projects in low-income communities. The New Opportunities bill will allow communities to take advantage of low-cost financing for projects that make streets and sidewalks safer for all users through a new federal credit assistance program that would direct millions specifically for low-income communities. Twenty-five percent of the funding must be spent in low-income communitie. The funding, $11 million, is a set aside from the $1 billion dollar TIFIA loan program funded in MAP-21. It provides common sense transportation solutions. » The bill offers a new tool for mayors and local governments to finance needed transportation infrastructure, and doesn’t add any new costs to the transportation bill or federal budget. It builds better integrated bicycling and multi-modal networks that reduce transportation costs and close gaps in job access for low-income families and individuals. » Nationally the average family earning less than $50,000 per year spends 30% of its income on transportation. » Residents earning less than $30,000 per year accounted for 28% of bike trips in 2009 — more than 1.1 billion bike trips overall. It helps commuters. » Americans are driving less, and want to bike and walk more. Creating safe infrastructure gives commuters cheap and safe options. » From 2000-2012, bike commuting rose 61% nationwide, but 80% in Bicycle Friendly Communities. Where infrastructure is safe and accessible, people bike more. It meets the need for safety and infrastructure » There are still disparities in access to safe infrastructure for low-income communities and people of color across the country. » Bicycling and walking make up 12% of all trips, but more than 16% of all fatalities. » Compared to white bicyclists, the fatality rate is 23% higher for Hispanic bicyclists and 30% higher for African American bicyclists. » 71% of people of color agree that safer bicycling would make their community better. Bill number To co-sponsor please contact HR 3978, Senate bill to be introduced House: Madeleine Pike (Rep. Sires): Gabriella Boffelli (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen):

Safe Streets Act What is it? Why should I support it? The Safe Streets Act would ensure that all streets are designed, planned and built to with all users in mind. While the bills give guidelines and components to what a complete streets policy needs to have, they also give states flexibility to decide what a complete street looks like in their state. » This bill will make streets safer for people driving cars, walking, biking and taking public transit — at little or no extra cost. The bill does not trigger any new federal spending. » Safe Streets can save money. Building streets that accommodate everyone the first time, means government doesn’t have to go back and retrofit streets and commercial areas later. » More and more cities and towns want to make walkable, bikeable neigh- borhoods and downtowns. The Safe Streets Act ensures that all transportation modes are considered in the planning and design stage instead of costly retrofits in the construction stage. » Over the last several years bicycling and pedestrian fatalities have increased in real numbers and as a percentage of overall traffic fatalities. This bill improves safety and quality of life. Bill number To co-sponsor please contact HR 2468 and S 2004 House: Jill Harrelson (Rep. Matsui): John Miceli (Rep. Joyce): Senate: Stef Claus (Sen. Begich):

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