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ISTEA and Michigan



U.S. SENATE DEBATE ON MAJOR TRANSPORTATION BILL (ISTEA)-- MAKE SURE MICHIGAN
HAS A VOICE!

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) is up for
debate on the Senate floor this week, with anticipated votes the week of
October 20 on its reauthorization.  We may see some of the most important
environmental votes in the Senate this year. YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED IN
MICHIGAN TO ENSURE ISTEA-2 RETAINS PRINCIPLES FOR A MORE BALANCED,
SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. 

ISTEA changed the playing field six years ago, when it allowed federal funds
to be spent on a more balanced transportation system that included bike and
pedestrian facilities, transit, in addition to highways.  This law
represents an important stimulus for the development of sustainable and
environmentally-friendly transportation projects.  ISTEA increased emphasis
on non-automobile transportation options to move people and goods safely,
economically, and at less environmental cost.  

It's important to recognize that ISTEA encouraged the designation of the
Midwest high speed rail network, linking Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and
St. Louis.  Government studies document that the proposed Midwest network
using upgraded existing track is a safe, cost-effective, and energy
efficient option.  Projected benefits include the creation of jobs, reduced
air pollution and alleviated air and highway congestion.  

ISTEA is expired, and the Senate is now revisiting these issues through
reauthorization.  Let your Michigan Senators Carl Levin (D-Detroit) and
Spencer Abraham (R-Auburn Hills) know you care about sustainable
transportation options, and specifically, your support for high speed rail
in Michigan and the Midwest.  

Hon. Carl Levin
United States Senator
459 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6221
Fax: (202) 224-1388
senator@levin.senate.gov

Hon. Spencer Abraham
United States Senator
245 Dirkson Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-4822
Fax: (202) 224-4822
michigan@abraham.senate.gov

If you have questions or comments, please contact Sally Billups at Michigan
Environmental Council, (517) 487-9539 or mec@acd.net  Thank you!