ALERT: Contact Congress to support 2017 National Bike Summit Congressional visits this week

Every March a delegation of 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.

Americans strongly support funding for biking and walking
Americans strongly support maintaining or increasing federal funding for bicycling and walking (2016)

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 2017 Congressional meetings are Wednesday, March 8th. Will you spend 5 minutes contacting your own members of Congress this week to support our visits?

How to contact your Congressional Representatives

Here are two ways you can help:

Sample message:

Dear [Senator/Congressman X],

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

Missouri delegation on Capitol Hill
Missouri delegation on Capitol Hill

[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:

 * Will you support continued federal funding for walking and bicycling? In a recent poll, 94% of Midwesterners support maintaining or increasing federal funding for walking and bicycling.

 * Will you support and consider co-sponsoring the bipartisan Vision Zero Act, to dramatically cut the number of deaths and injuries on our roads?

Sincerely,

[Name & place of residence]

Do Americans support federal funding for bicycling and walking?  Oh, yes . . .

In 2012, the League of American Bicyclists polled Americans about their support for federal funding for walking and bicycling.  That poll found strong support, particularly among Midwesterners:

 Support for federal funding for walking and bicycling in the Midwest is strong a 

What is particularly striking about the poll is how much the support for walking and bicycling has increased in the Midwest in just four years. Support for "increase funding" in the Midwest went from about 41% to 58% in just four years.

At the same time, the "decrease funding" faction has become so small it has nearly disappeared--from about 14% to just 7%.

Those are both big, positive changes over a very short time.

A big reason for the increase in support and decrease in opposition is that more citizens are now seeing the results of this bike/ped funding showing up in their own neighborhoods--in very concrete form: Safer places to walk and bicycle.

As biking walking moves from an abstract idea that people would like to see come to their communities, to an actual sidewalk, bike lane, trail, path, or (best of all) complete, connected system of routes for walking and bicycling throughout a community, people start to see the concrete benefits of these facilities.

People appreciate those facilities more when they are able to use them on a regular basis, and they realize that only government can create and support those kinds of vital transportation and recreation options that--to create the connectivity we need--must cover communities and neighborhoods and seamlessly cross city, county, and state boundaries.

Walking and bicycling is a very small portion of the federal transportation budget that has an outsized impact on citizens and communities.

Support for federal funding for bicycling and walking has increased nationwide since 2012(see below), but the increase in the Midwest is notably higher than that in the nation as a whole.

 Americans strongly support maintaining or increasing federal funding for bicycliAmericans strongly support funding for walking and bicycling

 

Read the complete poll on the League of American Bicyclists web site (PDF).

 

 

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--and an area where you can really help by spending a few minutes contacting your own elected representatives.

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

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