The Wisconsin legislative session is starting to gain momentum and it’s time to get to work.
Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget contains $77 million in new funding for local road repair. That’s important because it means more potholes will get filled, more local roads will be resurfaced and more county highways will get paved shoulders. And, in some cases, it means that specific cycling infrastructure like bike lanes, will be added.
But yesterday new Secretary of Transportation Dave Ross was grilled by Joint Finance Committee members. That was not without reason because the governor’s budget, while good for local roads, leaves unanswered questions about long-term funding for transportation projects. And our concern is that, if those long-term questions aren’t answered, funding for the local roads that we ride on will get cut back.
So, now’s the time to contact your legislators and the Bike Fed wants to make that easy for you.
The first and best thing you can do is join us for Lobby Day on Thursday, April 13th. We’ll start with registration at 10:30 AM at the Concourse Hotel just off the Capitol Square in Madison. We’ll kick off at 11 AM with some background on issues that we will cover with legislators and tips on effective lobbying. Then we’ll have a lively roundtable discussion with Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) and new Bike Fed board member and recently retired DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb.
After lunch we’ll head over to the Capitol to talk with our legislators. Then we’ll gather back at The Coopers Tavern on the Square to recount our experiences and enjoy a beverage together.
Here are the three things we’ll ask our legislators to support:
• More funding for local roads (the roads we ride on) in the state budget.
• Support for the vulnerable users bill, which increases penalties for drivers who kill or injure cyclists.
• Support for the Vision Zero campaign to increase safety and reduce crashes for all road users.
Please sign up for Lobby Day here.
And, if you can’t make that date please consider speaking in favor of local road funding at one of the public hearings on the budget that have been scheduled by the Joint Finance Committee. Here are the first three:
Monday, April 3 (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
UW – Platteville, Ullsvick Hall
30 South Hickory Street, Platteville
Wednesday, April 5 (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
State Fair Park Exposition Center
8200 West Greenfield Ave., West Allis
Friday, April 7 (10:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
Berlin High School Auditorium
222 Memorial Drive, Berlin