This week, twelve Senators - led by Senators Harkin (D-IA), Sanders (D-VT) and Merkley (D-OR) - introduced legislation (S. 800) to sustain and strengthen the federal Safe Routes to School program. Congress is looking to scale back transportation spending - so it's critical that we send a strong message that the federal Safe Routes to School program should be preserved.
Please take a few minutes to do two simple things to build Senate support for Safe Routes to School:
1. Contact your Senators to ask them to co-sponsor S. 800, through our new online Take Action tool. Simply put in your zip code, personalize the message template, add your contact information and click send!
2. Forward this action alert to at least five friends or colleagues and ask them to contact their Senators too.
It's a tough environment in Congress these days with so much attention on cutting spending. But, Safe Routes to School is a good investment. With just 0.2% of federal transportation spending, the federal Safe Routes to School program is helping thousands of schools and communities in all 50 states and DC to protect kids from traffic dangers on the trip to and from school. By improving the safety and prevalence of walking and bicycling to and from school, children and their communities benefit from reduced traffic congestion, better air quality and healthier lifestyles.
S. 800 would:
* Maintain Safe Routes to School as a standalone transportation program;
* Sustain funding at the FY09 level of $183 million per year given high demand and need for the program;
* Add limited eligibility for high schools and bus stop safety;
* Improve project delivery and reduce overhead by addressing regulatory burden; and
* Add a research and evaluation component.
Thank you very much for your help. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership looks forward to working with you in the coming months to protect the Safe Routes to School program.