Friday, October 12, 2007

ACTION ALERT: Tell Senator Martinez Florida Needs Trail Funding

On September 11, 2007, Florida U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez (R) voted to eliminate all federal spending on trails and other walking and biking facilities.

Tell Sen. Martinez that Florida needs more opportunities for walking and biking, not less.

Sen. Martinez’s vote was in support of an extreme amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that blamed bicycle and pedestrian funding for the August Minneapolis bridge collapse. This claim was made despite the fact that, since 2006, states have returned more than $2 billion in unspent bridge project funding to Congress. Coburn’s amendment was defeated 80-18.

This misguided scapegoating attempt cannot go unchallenged.

Please explain to Sen. Martinez why cutting trail, walking and biking funds would be a huge blow to Florida.

Bicycle facilities and trails have strong transportation value, produce zero emissions, support healthy lifestyles and provide economic development opportunities. We need more, not less, funding for bicycle facilities and trails. Federal funding has helped to create numerous miles of highly used bike lanes and trails: the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail and Cady Way Trail; regional connectors such as the Withlacoochee State Trail and the Suncoast Parkway Trail; and the soon to be constructed 50-plus mile East Central Regional Rail Trail and 49-mile Palatka to Lake Butler Rail Trail.

After you have taken action, please be sure to ask other Floridians to act as well. By multiplying our voice, we can convince Sen. Martinez to do the right thing in the future.
Floridians deserve better transportation choices. Please act now by visiting this link.

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