Today, thousands of people from across the country are calling their representatives in the House to urge them to vote “NO” vote on HR 7, the House transportation bill. The House bill would eliminate dedicated funding for public transportation – a crucial component of smart growth development – and negatively impact business expansion and job creation when America needs them most. The bill would also eliminate the tiny amount of funding that helps make dangerous streets and roads safer for pedestrians, cyclsts and drivers alike. The bill fails to go far enough to fix the country’s bridges and roads, and also fails to create more options for getting around.
America needs an updated federal transportation bill, but this proposal is not it. Join the fight to improve this bill by calling your Representative today.
Today, Smart Growth America and Transportation for America are part of a massive national call-in day rallying opposition to this bill from an unbelievably broad set of groups. Environmental activists, business leaders, labor union members, transit riders and transit workers, elected officials – the list keeps growing, and we all agree that the House bill makes two steps backward for every step forward.
Residents on both U.S. coasts today woke up to strong editorials opposing the bill. The New York Times called it “so uniquely bad” that it defies belief. From this morning’s editorial:
Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, rightly calls this the “worst transportation bill” he has seen in 35 years of public service. Mr. Boehner is even beginning to hear from budget-conscious conservatives who believe that relying on user fees is the most fiscally responsible way to pay for all transportation programs. Perhaps the House speaker will listen to these warnings and send the bill back to the relevant committees for the wholesale revision it needs. If he does not, and it passes, then the Senate must stop it.
Similarly, the Sacramento Bee made clear that in a time when people are looking for more options for getting around each day, the House bill takes away exactly what more Americans are so desperately seeking.
If they have their way, the nation’s transportation network will take a giant step backward to a “roads only” policy for dedicated funding. The full House votes next week on a multi-year transportation bill (House Resolution 7) – and Americans should urge their members of Congress to reject it. The United States needs a transportation system that gives people a variety of options – roads, rail, bus, bicycle paths and walkways. It needs to find ways to reduce emissions and traffic congestion.
From coast to coast, it’s becoming clear that this bill needs a massive overhaul. Join with others, make a phone call, and then spread the word via email and your social networks today if you’ve already called. If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #HouseTranspoFail to join the discussion.