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583Funding for better transportation

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  • Olga Meydbray
    Sep 1, 2003
      Hi all,

      This came across the Architects, Designers and Planners for social
      responsibility listserve but its pertinent to our interests.

      There's also a sample letter to your representative if you wish.


      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: Adpsrmail@...
      > Date: Fri Aug 29, 2003 1:20:05 PM US/Pacific
      > To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
      > Subject: ADPSR NorCal List: ADPSR Alert - funding for better
      > transportation
      > Dear ADPSR Members,
      > These days there are many political issues on which ADPSR is trying to
      > take
      > a stand, from war and nuclear issues-- the issues ADPSR was founded
      > on-- to
      > environmental destruction. Although not perhaps as urgent as war and
      > peace,
      > one issue that affects us directly in our professional fields is
      > transportation and land-use planning. Unsurprisingly for the current
      > administration and political climate, good planning is under attack at
      > the
      > Federal government level. The main transportation funding bill is up
      > for
      > reauthorization this fall, and as currently proposed it will eliminate
      > funding for alternatives to highways by cutting the program known as
      > "Transportation Enhancements."
      > There are many organizations who are fighting to save Transportation
      > Enhancements, from the American Planning Association to America Bikes
      > to the
      > National Trust for Historic Preservation. These organizations have put
      > together a lot of excellent background information on this topic,
      > which I
      > will only summarize very briefly below. Their main point is that to
      > preserve
      > funding for pedestrian projects, bicycle projects, rails-to-trails, and
      > transportation and land use linked projects, members of Congress must
      > hear
      > that their constituents support the program. I encourage you to use the
      > online resources below to locate your House Representative and let
      > them know
      > you support this program. Let them know that your are writing as a
      > professional in the field, and with the support of ADPSR, which
      > represents
      > hundreds of additional professionals. I have drafted a sample letter
      > below
      > that you are free to adapt to your own use.
      > I know that we have many strong allies on this issue. I don't know too
      > much
      > about how Congress works, but I have the sense from reading up on the
      > issue
      > that there is a real chance that this policy can be reversed to keep
      > things
      > at least at the level where they are right now-- not good enough by a
      > long
      > shot, but better than the proposed alternative. I suppose that other
      > issues
      > reach more directly into the topics of peace, justice, and
      > environmental
      > sustainability that are at the center of ADPSR's mission, but I think
      > that
      > this issue is not only within our professional sphere of activity but
      > also
      > raises those same issues on our home turf when we scratch beneath the
      > surface.
      > Please share this letter with fellow professionals and concerned
      > citizens. I
      > hope that, for ADPSR members, letters from professionals count
      > especially
      > strongly with our representatives. I encourage you to speak out this
      > and
      > other topics of concern to you in the functioning (or lack thereof) of
      > our
      > government.
      > Yours truly,
      > Raphael Sperry
      > ADPSR National Board Member
      > - For more specifics on the issue:
      > Whereas before each state had to set aside 10% of its transportation
      > funding
      > for Enhancement programs such as bike paths, sidewalks, and the like,
      > the
      > current proposed bill would make Enhancements funding "discretionary"
      > to
      > each state. As a result, state Departments of Transportation will have
      > the
      > leeway to provide zero funding to non-highway projects if they prefer.
      > Given
      > the nationwide shortage of alternatives to car transportation, this is
      > not
      > an acceptable option.
      > see: http://capwiz.com/amplan/issues/alert/?alertid=2985501&type=CU
      > from APA
      > and http://www.americabikes.org/saveenhancements_factsheet.asp from
      > America
      > Bikes.
      > - Contact your representative:
      > go to www.congress.org and put in your zip code at the top. This will
      > bring
      > up links to email your representative in the House.
      > - Sample text:
      > Subject: Please save Transportation Enhancements
      > As a professional engaged with planning and development, I am writing
      > to
      > urge you to restore mandatory funding for the Transportation
      > Enhancements
      > program in next year’s federal budget. Promoting alternatives to car
      > travel
      > is an essential part of building a better country; to achieve this,
      > you must
      > support continued funding for the pedestrian and bicycle facilities
      > covered
      > by the Enhancements program.
      > As a professional in the field of planning, I know that we must
      > consider the
      > broad context of planning decisions. The broader context of federal
      > transportation funding includes such issues as air quality, equitable
      > transportation options, and safety for every person on the road, path,
      > or
      > sidewalk. I hope you agree that clean air, the freedom to choose how
      > to get
      > around, and safe paths and sidewalks are of major value to the public
      > who we
      > serve as professionals and you serve as representatives. But if
      > Transportation Enhancements funding is not continued as mandatory,
      > many of
      > the projects that provide these benefits will never be built. On these
      > vitally important grounds, I urge you to restate the transportation
      > Enhancements program and to continue to fund pedestrian and bicycle
      > improvements. Please continue to honor what we all value by using our
      > common
      > dollars to pay for what we all need in these areas.
      > *****************
      > Have you wanted to join ADPSR and never had the time? Now you can join
      > on-line by visiting our secure web page,
      > https://adpsr.org/secure/National/membership.html. Just add a note
      > for which Chapter you'd like to be part of (see
      > http://adpsr.org/contact.html).
      > Forwarded as a courtesy of NorCal ADPSR. These postings are
      > originated by
      > others and ADPSR takes no responsibility for content.
      > Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)
      > ADPSR National Forum 415 974-1306 http://adpsr.org
      > New Village, The national journal of ADPSR http://newvillage.net
      > ADPSR Northern California Chapter 510 845-1000
      > http://adpsr-norcal.org
      > POB 9126, Berkeley, CA 94709
      > To be removed from this list, reply to this email with the word
      > "REMOVE" and
      > the e-mail address it was originally sent to in the subject line.
      > Reply only to: see: <A
      > HREF="http://capwiz.com/amplan/issues/alert/
      > ?alertid=2985501&type=CU">http://capwiz.com/amplan/issues/alert/
      > ?alertid=2985501&type=CU
      > </A> from APA
      > and <A
      > HREF="http://www.americabikes.org/saveenhancements_factsheet.asp">
      > http://www.americabikes.org/saveenhancements_factsheet.asp</A> from
      > America
      > Bikes.
      > - Contact your representative:
      > go to <A HREF="www.congress.org">www.congress.org</A> and put in your
      > zip
      > code at the top. This will bring
      > up links to email your representative in the House.
      Olga Meydbray
      408.439.2722 (cell)

      "When the last tree has fallen, when the last river has dried, and the
      last fish caught, then [people] will learn that they can't eat money."
      -Chief Sealth (Seattle)