Can New Financing Mechanism Deliver Multi-Modal Safety in Low-Income Areas?

A new bill in Congress would create a new $11 million program amidst the $1 billion Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program. But can it deliver more safety improvements to under-served populations?

The New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act of 2014 creates a low-interest, long-term loan program that communities around the USA can tap for small-scale biking and walking projects; It requires that 25% of the funds be spent in low-income communities,” reports Larry Copeland.

Copeland focuses his reportage on how low-income and less privileged populations have been left behind in the recent trend of multi-modal safety investments around the country. “A study last year by the League of American Bicyclists and the Sierra Club found that, while bike commuting rose 61% from 2000-2012, many under-served areas lack a safe infrastructure for biking. Consequently, the study found that fatality rates for African American and Hispanic bicyclists were 30% and 23% higher, respectively, than those of white bikers.”

"[HR 3978] will add another tool to help communities that want to do something to encourage biking, especially in communities that need it most," says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, in the article. "These are communities where transportation costs are typically 30% or more of household budgets and good transportation options are limited."

Full Story: Poor areas in the slow lane when it comes to biking

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