Today is the last day of National Bike Month. The Sierra Club was honored to join with the League of American Bicyclists and the National Council of La Raza in promoting biking as a green transportation choice. In our joint report Pedaling to Prosperity, we noted that bicyclists save $4.6 billion dollars each year (pdf).
We heard some great stories from across the country about bike month. In Austin, a two-mile stretch of Sixth Street was closed down for Viva Streets, a day long festival of active transportation and -- as our Lonestar Chapter noted -- well, fun! We heard from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and more about biking in South Texas. We were pleased to not only reach folks in English about the importance of biking as a transportation choice, but also in Spanish.
Despite the good news from this past month, some Republicans in Congress are eyeing the small amount of federal dollars that support biking in their crosshairs for elimination. As it is, only 1.6 percent of federal transportation dollars go toward biking and walking infrastructure despite the fact 12 percent of trips are by biking and walking.
several freshman GOP members of the House had been attending conference meetings held primarily by staffers, creating an unexpected chilling effect during negotiations. We also reported that a number of House members have renewed efforts to take Transportation Enhancements, the most important source of federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, out of the transportation bill entirely.