MEDIA ADVISORY For Immediate Release Contact: Scott White, 915-240-2680 July 31, 2014 El Paso Faces Potential Delay of Promised Bike Lanes On March 18 the El Paso City Council voted to recommit to using $2 million in federal funding for new bike infrastructure. To date, no new bike lanes have been created with these funds. El Paso, TX – “It’s the bike share all over again,” said Velo Paso President Victor Cordero when he heard the news that the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) would be considering reprogramming or even deprogramming $2 million that had been promised for new bike lanes. “Back in March we went to City Council to ask that they keep funding new bike lanes, and they did, but then nothing happened,” Mr. Cordero added. “So now we have to go before the MPO and ask them to save the money we were promised for new bike lanes.” On March 18, 2014, the El Paso City Council voted down a proposal that would have suspend the creation of new bike lanes until a better bike lane planning process could be developed. The city already had been allocated $2 million in federal funding for bike lanes, and had the council voted to suspend bike lane construction, those funds could have been lost. Since then, the city has begun forming a new Bicycle Advisory Committee to aid in oversight and planning, and has gone on to adopt the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) guidelines. Despite this, and the council’s vote to affirm support for continued bike lane construction, no new bike lanes have been built with this funding. As a result, the funds could be forfeit at the end the the 2014 fiscal year. “We were hoping these new lanes and paths would help connect the scattered infrastructure we do have, but as it looks now, we may have to wait until at least 2019 to see these promised bike lanes,” said Scott White, Policy Director and member of the new Bicycle Advisory Committee. “Instead of watching new bike lanes going in, we’re having to reach out to political leaders and the cycling community to ask for their support to preserve this crucial funding. Simply put, we can’t afford to wait 5 more years for safe routes for cyclists.” The MPO will meet this Friday, August 1, 2014 at 10767 Gateway Blvd., West, Suite 605 (between Lomaland and Yarbrough) at 9:00 a.m. Velo Paso asks that everyone who believes in a better quality of like in the region please join them in asking the MPO to roll the funds over to the 2015 fiscal year, rather than making the city and it’s cyclists wait 5 more years. If you cannot attend the meeting, Velo Paso asks that you please contact the members of the MPO TPB and ask them to preserve the bike lane funding. For more information about the MPO, and the TPB, please visit www.elpasompo.org. About Velo Paso: Velo Paso is a group of avid cyclists and engaged citizens from across the Paso del Norte region who want to improve conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians in our community. For more information, please visit www.velopaso.org, www.facebook.com/velopaso, and www.twitter.com/velopaso.