Monday, March 15, 2010

USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood Walks and Bikes the Talk

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who jumped up on a table to speak to the bicycling/walking advocates at the National Bicycle Summit last week, just posted about the experience and announced  a major policy revision on his FastLane blog.   Check out the video, especially at 1:55 seconds, when BikeSharePhiladelphia's Russell Meddin rushed the stage with the Complete the Trail map.

"Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.

We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.  To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:
  • Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Go beyond minimum design standards.
  • Collect data on walking and biking trips.
  • Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
  • Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
  • Improve non-motorized facilities during maintenance projects.
Now, this is a start, but it's an important start. These initial steps forward will help us move forward even further.

And the Obama Administration hasn't been sitting idle on the bike front this past year either.
Just last month through our TIGER program, we funded major bicycle projects in Indianapolis and in the Philadelphia-Camden-Trenton region."