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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Call to Action on Two Urgent Legislative Issues for Better Bicycling Here in Colorado!

If you are concerned about better and safer cycling in the North Front Range, please write your state or federal legislator right now! about these two issues:

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.smith@mail.house.gov.

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, aliceborodkin@aliceborodkin.com
Randy Fischer, randy.fischer.house@state.co.us
Gwyn Green, Vice Chair, gwyngreen@yahoo.com
Steve King, steve.king.house@state.co.us
Claire Levy, claire.levy.house@state.co.us
Don Marostica, don@donmarostica.com
Liane McFadyen, Committee Chair, mcfadyen2002@hotmail.com
Frank McNulty, email not available
Michael Merrifield, michael.merrifield.house@state.co.us
Diane Primavera, dianne.primavera.house@state.co.us
Joe Rice, joe.rice.house@state.co.us
Jerry Sonnenberg, jerry@electsonnenberg.com
Spencer Swalm, spencer.swalm.house@state.co.us
Glenn Vaad, glenn.vaad.house@state.co.us

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.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow...Jeff this in incredible and I am testifying next Tuesday I am guessing that you'll be there. Thanks for doing all of this along with your bike group. I know it will go well and God will be with me to guide my words....See you there. Shelley Forney (Erica's mother)

ad3 said...

As I said yesterday, I am opposed to the banning of cell phones legislation. Don't get me wrong, I don't think folks should talk on cell phones while driving. I just don't think there should be a law preventing them from doing so. There isn't a law that says you can't hit yourself on the head with a hammer!

In any case, my position is one of generally desiring less government control, and more responsible culture. That culture will have to be developed, and I will help make that happen. Legislation is, in my opinion, a poor way to solve this problem.

ad3