Since last December, Bike Delaware has been in contact with Congressman Castle’s office about becoming a co-sponsor of the Active Community Transportation (ACT) Act. Recently, the Congressman sent out this constituent letter:
June 22, 2010Dear [Constituent];
Knowing of your interest in the Active Community Transportation Act, I am writing to update you on this matter.
As you know, the stated goal of the proposed Active Community Transportation Act (ACT) Act is to provide funding to state and local governments for active transportation development projects, thereby encouraging more active lifestyles by enabling more citizens to use active transportation modes, such as walking and biking. The ACT proposed legislation also seeks to expand modes of transportation that reduce air and water pollution and improve the livability of communities.
As a member of the Congressional Bike Caucus, I understand that there is a great public support for more walkable and bikeable communities, and that such features can even improve home values. It is known that citizens will not walk and bike unless these modes are safe and convenient, and American cities have traditionally invested in road systems to support automobile travel rather than pedestrian and bicycle networks.
Like you, I feel that the promotion of physical activity and health awareness are integral to combating obesity and related diseases in both children and adults, which will not only keep health care costs low, but help people live longer and healthier lives. Prevention is certainly better than waiting until people get sick, and the creation and promotion of biking and pedestrian paths and trails are simple ways to increase physical activity – with immeasurable health benefits.
One such project that I have spearheaded is the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal recreational trail. The immediate goal is to transform over 13 miles of existing service road, which is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on the north side of the C&D Canal. This multi-purpose recreational trail, extending from Delaware City to Chesapeake City, would include associated amenities such as trail heads, signage, and self-composting restroom facilities, and improved security. I believe it is important to preserve the historical and environmental appeal of the area surrounding the C&D, and that it is also necessary to provide Delaware’s communities with access to open space in an area that has seen rapid development in recent years. It remains a high priority of mine on the 111th Congress to continue to acquire the funding necessary to move the C&D Canal trail from vision to reality.
You may also be interested to know that in addition to areas conducive to physical activity and opportunities for children and families to participate in quality pay, I am a strong supported of campaigns to increase knowledge and awareness about the importance of individuals achieving 60 minutes of recommended physical activity every day. To that end, in Congress I have supported health awareness and prevention programs that include the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity. A the Senior Republican Member of the Subcommittee of Early Childhood and Secondary Education, I actively promote policies like the importance of child nutrition through the school lunch program, as well as physical activity both inside and outside of school. I am a co-sponsor of and voted for H.R. 1585, the FIT Kids Act, which would promote healthy, active student lifestyles by taking several steps to improve health and physical education in schools. I am also the co-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, where rising obesity rates have been the focus of greater attention, again emphasizing the important role of exercise in our health and wellbeing.
Please be assured that I will closely monitor the development of legislation that expands environmentally friendly modes of transportation and encourages healthy lifestyles. Thank you again for contacting me, and please feel free to do again in the future on this or any other important matter. For more information on transportation of other issues, please visit my website and sign up to receive my e-newsletter at www.castle.house.gov. You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mikecastle.
Sincerely,Michael N. CastleMember of Congress