A short time remains in the public comment period for federal TEA-21 re-authorization

The U.S. Department of Transportation is taking public comment on the TEA-21 re-authorization legislation that will be considered by congress starting in January 2003. USDOT will take public comment through December 31st, 2002.

Your comments need not be long or detailed. A simple statement such as "I support the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian projects and planning in TEA3" says a lot. Click here to leave a comment with USDOT (you must register before commenting).

You can find out more about TEA3 and the issues involved, at the Alliance for a New Transportation Charter website (read also their TEA3 Action Alert).

It is very important that the DOT hear from cyclists writing in support of cycling issues. TEA-21 and ISTEA have done more to improve the bicycle transportation outlook in the United States than any other plan or program in the past 10 years or so. TEA-21 includes incentives to local government bodies to create special bicycle and pedestrian projects, but even more important, to make bicycle and pedestrian planning a regular part of the overall transportation planning picture for every government body across the entire U.S.

When we win the battle for TEA3, we win a thousand battles at one stroke.

We know that the highway lobbyists are mobilizing their supporters to flood the DOT with comments supporting more and bigger construction projects friendly to motor vehicles. Bicycle and pedestrian supporters must provide a balancing back-pressure of public opinion to let our public officials know that Americans support these transportation choices.

The Department of Transportation's TEA3 site has a great deal of information about the legislation and reauthorization timeline.

TEA3 has the potential to do everything TEA21 did and more. Among the proposed TEA3 initiatives is a "Safe Routes to School" proposal. This has the potential to have a positive impact on the health of young people around the country (childhood obesity is at an all-time high, in large part because our children are driven most everywhere previous generations biked and walked) and to dramatically improve the bicycle- and pedestrian-friendliness of communities.

Click here to find out more about the TEA3 Safe Routes to School proposal on the Transact web site.