Although most Americans don't live in bike- or pedestrian-friendly cities, in just two years the Safe Routes to School program was able to dramatically increase the safety and number of students walking, biking, and carpooling to school, says director Deb Hubsmith.
But despite its obvious benefits, SRTS’s meager 0.2 percent of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s safety budget could be reduced to even less or cut completely.
More upsetting is that it's not about saving taxpayer money, it’s about pleasing car-thirsty lobbies, says Grist, which points to a Rutger’s study showing that bike- and walk-friendly communities are both easy to implement and cost-effective.
Schoolchildren don't just need a safe path to school; they need the outdoors and exercise. Please, Congress, don’t backpedal on the Safe Routes to School program!
We, the undersigned, support the Safe Routes to School program and would like to see it receive more funding, not less.
Congressman Eric Cantor's view, that communities should bear the burden of providing safe biking and walking routes to school is unfair, especially considering the already overburdened local budgets caused by the economic crash.
We want our country to cut its dependency on oil and gas, and providing children and adults with safe biking and walking routes to school and work will certainly effectively support that goal. It will also help clean the air and get children outside and exercising. Such a program will work to ameliorate economic and health issues now plaguing our country.
We see no excuse or benefit to the funding cuts to this program Congress has been considering, and we request that it not backpedal on this progressive initative.
Please increase, rather than cut support for the Safe Routes to School Program.
Thank your for your attention to this matter.