[bikes] Federal bicycle policy

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annalisa144

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Apr 16, 2010, 11:12:30 AM4/16/10
to Bike Richmond
I'm tentatively excited about this development. Since there's nothing
mandatory about it, there may not be much change. But it seems to be
one more step in a mental shift.

(Read all: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/14/bicycle-policy-ray-lahood_n_536791.html)

"Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a weekend bicyclist, might
consider keeping his head down and his helmet on. A backlash is
brewing over his new bicycling policy.

LaHood says the government is going to give bicycling – and walking,
too – the same importance as automobiles in transportation planning
and the selection of projects for federal money. The former Republican
congressman quietly announced the "sea change" in transportation
policy last month.

"This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense
of non-motorized," he wrote in his government blog.

Not so fast, say some conservatives and industries dependent on
trucking. A manufacturers' blog called the policy "nonsensical." One
congressman suggested LaHood was on drugs.

The new policy is an extension of the Obama administration's
livability initiative, which regards the creation of alternatives to
driving – buses, streetcars, trolleys and trains, as well as biking
and walking – as central to solving the nation's transportation woes."

(Read all: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/14/bicycle-policy-ray-lahood_n_536791.html)

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Mark Stosberg

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Apr 17, 2010, 7:17:36 AM4/17/10
to Bike Richmond
On Apr 16, 11:12 am, annalisa144 <gros...@earlham.edu> wrote:
> I'm tentatively excited about this development. Since there's nothing
> mandatory about it, there may not be much change. But it seems to be
> one more step in a mental shift.

Despite the negative framing of some of the AP wire stories about the
new federal transportation policy, I think it's a very big deal. The
US DOT followed up to point to a survey indicating that most Americans
are in favor of improved walking and biking facilities:
0061

I've read it in detail and posted some highlights on my blog:
http://mark.stosberg.com/bike/2010/03/highlights-from-the-federal-bike-and-pedestrian-policy.html

Some relevant bits:

- You are right that it is not a law, but related laws are already
pending at the federal and state levels and may be passed in the next
year or so.

- On the local level, Scott Zimmerman is already considering adopting
a similar "Complete Streets" policy. Some other communities around
Indiana have already done so, including Bloomington and Madison County
(where Anderson, Indiana is).

- While it is not a law, it comes from the Federal Highway
Administration, which INDOT reports to. When Richmond asked INDOT for
a new design for US 27 through Richmond, we are in part asking the
FHWA to follow their own policy, since they are responsible for some
of the funding of the project.
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