If you checked the latest voting results on the bike/ped amendment from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy as I did. you may have noticed that Congressman Albio Sires' name (NJ 13 District) was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, the story coming to WalkBikeJersey straight from Andy Clarke at the League of American Bicyclists was that Congressman Sires was sick today. As such he was unable to vote on the Bike/Ped amendment proposed by Congressmen Petri (R-WI), Johnson (R-Ill) and Lipinski (D-Ill) that would have to restored the Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancements programs in the Transportation bill. This is contrary to an earlier report from my college here at WalkBikeJersey.
Besides Congressman Sires, Bob Filner (D-CA) also did not vote for some reason. In all likelihood if they were there, both Democrats would have voted in favor of the amendment to save bike/ped, SRTS and TE funding in the transportation bill. As such it would have been a 29 to 29 tie.
Again we need to thank our own Republican Frank LoBiondo (NJ 1 District - Yeah Frank!) for having the fortitude to cross party lines to do the right thing and vote to save bicycling and walking. He and the two other Republicans, both of whom sponsored the amendment, voted in favor of this amendment which shows weakness with the Republican position on this issue.
As for Congressman Sires, if you live in his district (Northern Newark, Perth Amboy, HOBOKEN, Jersey City, etc.) wish him well on his illness and just remind him of the importance of biking and walking not only in his VERY urban district but also to New Jersey and the Nation as a whole.
|Albio Sires' 13th District|