Senator Bill Nelson responded to BikeWalkLee's letter in support of the Cardin-Cochran amendment to the Senate transportation bill, giving local governments access to funding for bike/ped projects.
Dear Ms. Letourneau:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for continued funding for transportation enhancements like bike trails and pedestrian improvements in the highway bill.
The Cardin-Cochran amendment would give local governments access to funding for projects important to their communities. I'm glad to report that procedural steps are currently being taken to include this provision in the amended Senate highway bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21).
I am a cosponsor of Safe and Complete Streets (S. 1056) and supported it as an amendment to the highway bill in committee. I have continually voted to prevent efforts to strip funding for these projects. Many of Florida's roads are not designed to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This has become more evident as the price of gas continues to fluctuate and more people begin to use alternate forms of transportation. I believe we need to make our streets more accessible to all kinds of traffic, so that folks have safe options to get around without using a car. Not only does this help people save money on gas, it's also better for the environment, and it encourages daily physical activity, such as walking and biking.
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I understand the importance of maintaining our nation’s transportation programs. I appreciate hearing your views. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.