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LaHood: “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”
When the Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood stood on a table at the National Bike Summit to thank the crowd and show his support for bicycling and walking, he was just getting started.
Today, he announced his new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. It is simply the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting secretary of transportation.
On his blog, he writes:
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 nonmotorized 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.
The Secretary ended by thanking the League of American Bicyclists, but we strongly thank him for his words, his energy, and now for his official policy statement. We agree that there is further to go and we look forward to working with the Secretary to get there.
The League would also like to thank the 700 people who came to Washington, DC to tell Congress how important bicycling is to this country.