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Another Bike/Ped Bill Coming
It's been a busy week on Capitol Hill for bicycling. Last night, we saw the introduction of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act in Congress. Earlier yesterday, Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) announced his intention to introduce a bill to empower underserved communities to invest in bicycling and walking networks. This forthcoming bill, he said, is inspired in part by the "The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity" report the League produced in partnership with the Sierra Club. Here are his remarks in full:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about the importance of investing in safe infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. I recently read a report presented by the Sierra Club and League of American Bicyclists, entitled The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity, and as someone who rides a bicycle regularly, I think there’s a lot to be excited about in their findings.
Across the nation, bike ridership is up—and the numbers are impressive. From 2001 to 2009 there has been a 22% increase in bike trips among white Americans, 50% for Hispanics, 80% for Asian Americans, 100% among African Americans, and there’s plenty of room for those numbers to grow.
Unfortunately, concerns about access to safe infrastructure remains a barrier for many would-be riders. I believe we must do more in Congress to address that. It’s a simple fact that when we invest in complete streets with safe pedestrian and bicycle pathways, we create communities where businesses want to invest and families want to live. That is why I plan to introduce a bill in the coming weeks that will create innovative new ways of financing non-motorized infrastructure projects. I am hopeful that this legislation will attract bipartisan support here in Congress, so that Americans of all age and background can enjoy equitable access to safe roads."
Stay tuned for news on this exciting piece of legislation!