2019 National Bike Summit: Visiting Congress to ask for better bike/ped funding, safety this week - How you can help

The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation is in Washington DC this week, along with several other Missouri bicycle & pedestrian advocacy groups, at the National Bike Summit. After three days of conference sessions and meetings, we'll spend Tuesday and Wednesday on Capitol Hill, meeting with every Missouri House and Senate office.

Passing by Washington and Lincoln Memorials on the way to a National Bike Summit
Passing by Washington and Lincoln Memorials on the way to a National Bike Summit session

Asking Congress to support better, safer bicycling and walking

What are we asking for in 2019?

  • Discussions are starting on the federal transportation funding reauthorization--the bill that sets main federal transportation policy and priority for a six-year period.  We want to be sure that access and safety for the millions of Americans who regularly bicycle and walk receives the attention it deserves.
    • Make sure primary bike/ped funding programs like Transportation Alternatives are funded and increased at levels on par with other transportation modes 
    • Increase local flexibility for use of federal funding
    • Address bike/ped safety issues in driverless vehicle regulation
    • Make safety and improved access for people who bicycle and walk a higher priority
       
  • Support the COMMUTE Act. The COMMUTE Act is a low-cost solution that simply makes planning data available to local communities--the detailed type of data needed to figure out how best to spend scarce transportation dollars to make the most impact with the least money, particularly when planning bicycle, pedestrian, and other local projects.  More details here.
     
  • Reinstate the Bicycle Commuter Benefit. The Bicycle Commuter Benefit was been available for years--until it was repeale in 2017 as part of an unrelated tax cut bill. As BikePortland says, "The IRS currently offers a 'qualified transportation fringe benefit' of up to $265 per month for driving a car, parking a car, and taking transit. Shockingly, the most efficient and healthiest form of transportation — cycling — is ineligible."  Our 2019 ask is to reinstate the Bicycle Commuter Benefit with some improvements over the previous system.
     
  • Prioritize vulnerable road user safety.

You can read the details about these issues and more at the League of American Bicyclists' page about the 2019 National Bike Summit Policy Asks.

Make a call or email to support our message this week

If you'd like to support our Congressional visits this week, you can look up your members of Congress here. Visit the "official" web site of your two Senators and one House member, and send them an electronic message or--even better--give them a quick call with a message like this:

Members of the Missouri delegation will be visiting your office this week with the National Bike Summit.  I hope you'll support better funding and safety for people who walk and bicycle as transportation reauthorization moves forward.

You could include a brief story or reason why bicycling and/or walking is particularly important to you, your family, or your community.

Thanks for your support.  When we speak up together to our elected officials, it really does make a difference!

 

Working together with allied organizations across Missouri and across the U.S. to improve funding, safety, and access for people who bicycle, walk, and use trails helps fulfill several of the primary goals in our Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Our annual visit with Missouri members of Congress on Capitol Hill is one of our most important and effective forms of advocacy.

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