Parity for Bicycles Criticized

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's announcement that federal transportation policy will give parity to bicycling and walking is being criticized by some conservatives and industries dependent on trucking.

LaHood has indicated that transportation projects receiving federal funding will need to provide equal access to bicycling and walking infrastructure.

"[The policy] recommends, among other things, including biking and walking lanes on bridges and clearing snow from bike paths. 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.

[T]he initial reaction from conservatives and industry has been hostile. Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio...said in an interview that he thinks bike paths, bike lanes and projects that make communities more walkable are fine but shouldn't be funded with money raised by a gasoline tax paid by motorists."

Full Story: Obama Bicycle Policy Wins Love From Cyclists, Scorn From Trucking Industry



Brent Toderian's picture

planners need to support this approach loudly

Here in Vancouver BC, for years our transportation planning has prioritized walking, then cycling, then transit, then goods movement, and finally the single occupancy verhicle. Cars are rarely banned - they're just prioritized last.

This has been a bedrock of the Vancouver success story of city-building, a key reason why we are frequently rated one of the most livable cities in the world, while reducing commuter times and vehicle miles travelled... And a big reason why we were one of the last cities affected by the downturn and the first to recover. We are the north american proof that this kind of prioritization works, resulting in many definations of success.

This approach, though, will be attacked by many. Planners and urbanists need to support it loudly and persuasively.

Brent Toderian
Vancouver Director of Planning

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