1) Bike projects in the Economic Stimulus Package
2) Banning cells phones while driving
Economic Stimulus Package
The feeding frenzy among state Departments of Transportation for economic stimulus package funding seems to be ignoring bicyclists. Really, all we need is assurance that a portion of funds allocated for bridge reconstruction, freeway interchanges, roundabouts, highway widening and resurfacing be allocated for bicycle (and pedestrian) accommodations. That means including new bike paths on new bridges or on intersections (so we aren't instructed to "dismount and walk your bike" as we now are at Harmony Road and I-25.)
Our new representative to congress from District 4, Betsy Markey, sits on the House Transportation Committee. Congressman Oberstar, from Minnesota chairs that committee and has been a friend of cyclists over the years.
So please write to Betsy Markey's office and ask her to bring this up in committee: all we want is a portion (4% is what we've had for bicycle and pedestrian enhancements over the last 16 years in the Transportation Enhancements program) for bicycles and pedestrians. Help us out, will you, Betsy! Call her office or write to her legislative aid, Marissa at Marissa.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or call her and talk with Marissa or anyone who answers - chat them up. If they get 25 calls they'll take note: (202) 225-4676.
Using Cell Phones While Driving
Our Colorado State House Representatives have drafted a bill to limit the use of cell phones by drivers in moving vehicles. House Bill 09-1094 is taking the first step to be coming a law being reviewed in the House Transportation and Energy Committee on Feb 3rd. Take action today to have your voice heard to make this a law for all of us.
1. Email the Transportation and Energy Committee:
The committee's contact information is listed below. A message with personal experiences indicating the non-partisan nature of this issue would be most effective. Include in your letter any personal stories you have regarding cell phone drivers and your reasons for support.
2. Attend the committee meeting:
House Transportation and Energy Committee on or about Feb 3rd, 2009, State Capital Bldg, Denver (Location and exact time will be announced next week along with car pooling information on the Bike Fort Collins web site.)
Here is a link to the bill drafted by Rep. Claire Levy, Dem. Boulder
Colorado State House Bill 09-1094 Concerning Wireless Telephone Prohibitions for Drivers
Members and e-mail addresses of the Transportation & Energy Committee
Alice Borodkin, email@example.com
Randy Fischer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gwyn Green, Vice Chair, email@example.com
Steve King, firstname.lastname@example.org
Claire Levy, email@example.com
Don Marostica, firstname.lastname@example.org
Liane McFadyen, Committee Chair, email@example.com
Frank McNulty, email not available
Michael Merrifield, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Primavera, email@example.com
Joe Rice, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerry Sonnenberg, email@example.com
Spencer Swalm, firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Vaad, email@example.com
Thanks for your help!
Further notes on City of Fort Collins cell phone ban: City Manager Darin Atteberry announced Jan. 22 that City employees are prohibited from using cell phones while driving except in case of an emergency. City police are exempt from the ban.
(Note that the National Safety Council has called for a similar ban on using cell phones while driving. For details click here.)