Saturday, March 27, 2010

US Dept. of Transportation Makes Walking and Biking A Priority

Finally, in case you didn’t hear, on March 15, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a policy statement substantially raising the priority of walking and bicycling across the country. The statement notes:

Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide — including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life — transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.

"When it comes to doling out federal transportation funds, projects that adhere to the new policy statement will be given a higher priority, so it is within the best interests of cities and states to adhere to it. With a new transportation bill looming that could reach a half trillion dollars, anyone wanting a piece of the pie will have to take pedestrians and cyclists into account. Call it a carrot-and-stick approach."

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