ALERT: Contact Congress Wed & Thurs; MO delegation in DC to ask Congress to support biking and walking!

A delegation of 10 Missourians, representing bicycle, pedestrian, and trails groups from across the state, is meeting with Missouri members of Congress Wednesday and Thursday to ask them to support bicycling and walking.

Can you help us out by contacting your own members of Congress--a quick and easy phone call or online message makes a HUGE difference!

Missouri delegation on Capitol Hill
Missouri delegation on Capitol Hill

How to contact your members of Congress and ask for their support for biking and walking

  • Sample message:

Dear [Senator/Congressman X],

Members of the Missouri Delegation to the National Bike Summit will be visiting your office next week.  I hope you will listen to and support their message for better, safer bicycling and walking across Missouri and the U.S.

[Tell a little about why bicycling and/or walking is important to you, a short personal story why it is important in your life, why it is important to your family or community.]

Please support bicycling and walking in Missouri in these ways:

 * Support continued funding for bicycling and walking as part of a multi-modal transportation program, when TEA-21 comes up for renewal

 * Co-sponsor the Vision Zero Act, to dramatically cut the number of deaths and injuries on our roads [HOUSE MEMBERS ONLY]

 * Will you co-sponsor the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act (TAPIA)? [SENATORS ONLY]

Sincerely,

[Name & place of residence]

How to find your member of Congress contact information:

  • Each American is represented by two Senators and one House member:
  • Go to the online/web contact form for your members of Congress
    • Use the sample letter above to write your message  (short & sweet is fine!)
  • Or, EVEN BETTER, give the Congressional office a quick call
    • Staff are used to taking constitutent calls on issues
    • It is quick and easy
    • Sample message:
      • House: "Hi. I am XXX from YYY calling to ask the Senator/Congressman/Congresswoman ZZZ support bicycling and walking.  A group from Missouri is visiting your office this week with the National Bike Summit, and I hope you'll support them and the issues they are working on."
      • Personal variation in your message is good--we don't want to give them the impression that 1000 robots are calling them!  But "please support bicycling and walking" is the core message.

2015 Congressional Asks: Preserve funding, more local control, eliminate roadway deaths

Every March, MoBikeFed, our allied bicycle and pedestrian organizations from across Missouri, and individual bicycle and pedestrian advocates from across Missouri go to Washington, DC, for the National Bike Summit.  We spend a couple of days meeting with other advocates from around the country and sharing ideas and best practices.

National Bike Summit 2015
National Bike Summit 2015

But the highlight of the Summit is the day we spend on Capitol Hill, meeting with every Congressional office in Missouri--and advocating for better, safer bicycling and walking in Missouri.

The 2015 Summit is next week.  What are we asking Congress for this year?

Our 2015 National Bike Summit asks

The League of American Bicyclists have summarized our 2015 "asks"--the most important things we'll be talking with our members of Congress about next week.

If you're not joining us for the National Bike Summit, but would like to help--your messages from home REALLY make a big difference in making our personal visits on Capitol HIll more effective.  At the end of this message are instructions telling you how you can contact your member of Congress and reinforce our asks.

 1. Will you support continued funding for bicycling and walking as part of a multi-modal transportation program?  (House and Senate)

By asking this question, you are:

  • Making the lawmaker accountable for their position -– and doing so now before a vote
  • Helping us identify targets in the case we have a floor vote on continuing biking and walking funding

We are expecting a vote in May to strip bicycle funding -- even basic eligibility for any funding at all -- from the federal transportation bill. So it is important that we both get a sense of where Senators and Representatives are likely to vote, and that we take this opportunity to let them know there is a strong bike constituency in their district.

In the past we’ve been able to change the position of a Senator or Representative after a vote, or a negative public comment. But we want to ask the question now to ensure members of Congress know they have a strong constituency that supports this funding before they vote.

 

2. Will you co-sponsor the Vision Zero Act? (House)

The Vision Zero approach to traffic safety is based on the fact that all traffic fatalities are preventable, and therefore there is no acceptable level of traffic fatalities.

The Vision Zero Act (download our background document) is an incentive program that directs existing safety funding to communities that are taking this innovative approach.  The bill will create a grant programs for communities with Vision Zero policies to both plan and implement Vision Zero engineering, enforcement and education projects.

 

 

3. Will you co-sponsor the Transportation Alternatives Program Improvement Act (TAPIA)? (Senate)

Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) are joining forces again to build upon and improve the implementation of their amendment to MAP-21 (the transportation bill in 2012 ) that ensure greater local control over funding decisions and priorities for these program funds.

This bill (read our background document) would improve the program through a number of small changes that will make a big difference, including making NGOs eligible for funding and removing the ‘treatment of project language’ that created additional regulatory hurdles for TAP projects.

Read more about the asks and download handouts at bikeleague.org/lobbyday.


2015 National Bike Summit Coverage

 

Making Missouri a better, safer place to walk and bicycle is the primary goal of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.  Meeting with our members of Congress and other elected officials to communicate that Vision is an important part of our work.

Your ongoing membership and generous support help turn our Vision into reality!

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