In a letter sent Friday to the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Sen. Tom Carper (D) and George Voinovich (R) proposed a 25-cent-per-gallon increase in the fuel tax, to be gradually rolled out over the next three years. The two senators say the levy would raise $200 billion over five years. Under the plan, $117 billion (or 15 cents per gallon) would be permanently dedicated to the highway fund, and $83 billion (or 10 cents per gallon) would be directed toward deficit reduction.
For advocates, replenishing the Highway Transportation Fund is critical for a transportation bill, and thus the passage of bicycle-friendly legislation. This includes marker bills that Bike Delaware has fought very hard for, such as the Active Community Transporation Act. Carper and Voinovich have the backing of industry leaders who stand to benefit from a bigger investment in infrastructure. Representatives from almost every corner of the transportation community — from the Laborers International Union of North America to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association to America Bikes — sent a separate letter to the debt commission Friday urging support of the proposal.
Bike Delaware urges it’s members to write Senator Carper and their local media if they support the idea of highway funding through a graduated tax on gasoline, and thus an increase in the cost of driving. Higher gas prices usually result in more fuel efficient vehicles, consolidated trips (more carpooling), increased bicycle sales, and DOTs more open to non-motorized facilities, transportation funding and initiatives.
Full list of Delaware media contacts in xls HERE.
Delegates from Bike Delaware and the Delaware Trailspinners meet with Sen. Carper during the National Bike Summit back in March.