The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) is proposing major policy changes to the Transportation Enhancement (TE) fund that could severely cut funding for bike and pedestrian projects in Virginia. Please take a few minutes and send an email or note to the CTB and stop this before it’s too late.

Please send a note to the CTB opposing their proposed actions by October 19.

Please ask the Chairman of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton (SEAN.CONNAUGHTON@GOVERNOR.VIRGINIA.GOV) and the entire Board to oppose these changes. Let them know that you want these funds to be used for core bike and pedestrian projects, not to develop scenic highway programs or to pay for tourist brochures.

Background

Each year, a portion of the federal Surface Transportation Program funds are set -aside for transportation enhancement projects. TE funds are one of the primary sources of funding for multi-use paths, sidewalks and trails in Virginia. Normally, this amounts to $15 – $20 million per year

The CTB annually receives 150 – 200 requests for projects each year but can only fund around 100 of these requests.

In July, the Governor asked that $4M – nearly a quarter of the available funds – be spent on, “high priority statewide initiatives (tourism based initiatives, etc.” to build tourist centers, and funding programs such as promoting scenic roads and cultural attractions.
While we don’t oppose promoting tourism, Virginia already budgets over $18M for the Virginia Tourism Corporation to do this. They don’t need TE funds to print more brochures.

Please share this with your members and ask them to send a note today.

Thanks for taking the time to make a difference.

Here’s a sample note send to the Board:

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Secretary Sean Connaugton and
Members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board
Virginia Department of Transportation
1401 E. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 233219
c/o
sean.connaugton@governor.virginia.gov

Mr. Secretary and Members of the CTB:

Please share this message with the entire CTB.

I urge the Commonwealth Transportation Board to oppose the proposed changes to the Transportation Enhancement Funding policy but instead prioritize these funds on key projects which build facilities to promote walking, cycling and alternatives to driving our cars.

Riding bicycles and walking benefits the Commonwealth in many ways including:

health benefits;

  • reduced health care costs;
  • increasing the number of children who can safely walk or ride their bikes to school;
  • decreased smog and air pollution;
  • decreased dependence on foreign oil;
  • less congestion on our roads by getting people out of their cars;
  • tourism income by attracting visitors to ride and hike in Virginia;
  • increased revenues by attracting businesses and individuals to relocate to our Virginia; and,
  • a better quality of life for everyone.

As a resident of Virginia, I want to have choices in transportation and the Transportation Enhancement Fund should be used to fund alternative transportation facilities.

Please prioritize these limited funds on key projects that benefit the Commonwealth and citizens by moving people, not paper.

Sincerely,

[your name/organization]