unnamed-1Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: America’s infrastructure is in shambles. And Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges are worse than the comically low standards of the United States’ roads and bridges. Currently, the commonwealth contains the highest number of deficient bridges in the country, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

That’s why the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is officially supporting the Stand Up for Transportation rally, scheduled for 9am on Thursday, April 9 (that’s tomorrow), in Dilworth Park at City Hall. We’re joining SEPTA, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware River Port Authority and about 200 other groups in calling for more federal involvement in transportation funding.

SU4T map

The rally will be attended by politicians from both parties, including former Governor Ed Rendell. The organizing force behind the rallies is the American Public Transportation Association, who write on APTA.com,

Infrastructure is the collection of physical facilities that permit business and commerce to exist and flourish. It comprises all of the variously interconnected systems and services that serve as the underpinning of society; those that facilitate our daily activities and those that promote our collective engagement in commerce.

Despite its importance, the only time we generally think about infrastructure is when it fails or is absent – the collapse of a bridge, contamination of a water supply, a sustained power blackout, insurmountable and costly traffic congestion, failure of a communications network, or overcrowded buses and trains in communities unable to afford to maintain a state of good repair. We completely ignore infrastructure when it works as intended, and we complain mightily when it doesn’t.

The latest extension of the highway and transit funding bill is set to expire on May 31 if Congress doesn’t renew it. It’s Congress, so it’s being plagued by gridlock. That’s why we all want tomorrow’s rallies across the country to have a real impact.

For more information, check out APTA.com, and be sure to make it to Dilworth Park at 9am tomorrow for the Stand Up 4 Transportation rally.

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