In January, Senator Todd Gardenhire and Representative Mike Carter introduced a bill that could have detrimental impacts to the future of biking and walking in Tennessee.
SB1716/HB1650 would strip away the ability of the state and local communities to use funding generated from the state gas tax for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
This bill hurts all Tennesseans, since the majority of those who walk and bike in our state also contribute to the gas tax fund. All road users benefit from decreased congestion and improved safety - both of which are direct benefits of walking, biking, and transit options.
If you value greenways, trails, bike lanes or sidewalks and support their role in improving the quality of life for all Tennesseans, please take a moment to sign our petition and contact your legislators.
In addition to signing the petition, please take a few short minutes to copy and paste the email addresses of members from the Senate and House Transportation Committees to let them know that SB1716/HB1650 is a dangerous bill that will undermine the enormous progress Tennessee has made over the years for biking and walking. You can find email addresses and some draft language below that you can feel free to edit and use in your email.
Your participation and advocacy on this issue is absolutely critical. Biking and walking are central to the health, economic development, and vibrancy of communities across Tennessee. Please help to stop this dangerous bill before it becomes law.
Contact TN Legislators
SAMPLE EMAIL - Copy and paste the below email into your email browser. Feel free to make any edits (the more personal your email, the more effective it will be). Send your email to all members of the House and Senate Transportation Committees; you can find their email address below.
Dear House/Senate Transportation Committee Members:
2015 was the deadliest year in two decades for bicyclists and pedestrians in Tennessee. Last year, more than 10% of all fatalities on Tennessee roadways involved a person outside of a motor vehicle
Such tragic loss of life can be prevented with improved bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
However, instead of decreasing pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, SB1716/HB1650 will make Tennessee roads less safe for people who walk and bike. SB1716/HB1650 will strip away the ability of local communities to use state transportation funds for projects that make our roads safer for all users.
As Tennessee seeks solutions to address obesity and heart disease rates that are some of the highest in the nation, it should continue to provide local communities the ability to build infrastructure that encourages people to exercise and lead active lifestyles.
As Tennessee seeks solutions to address rural communities in dire need of economic development, it should continue to provide local communities the ability to build sidewalks and crosswalks in their downtown areas to increase vibrancy and tourism that, in turn, create more customers for small businesses.
SB1716/HB1650 limits local communities from making local decisions about how to improve the quality of life for local residents. I encourage you to oppose this legislation that is prohibitive to the growth, vibrancy, and health of communities across Tennessee.
HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE