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Biking and Walking Have Lost Momentum

A decade ago it seemed like biking and walking was making a comeback that could change the commuting culture of the United States.
February 12, 2019, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Angie Schmitt spreads the word about the "Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2018 Benchmarking Report," published semi-annually by the League of American Bicyclists.

"Pedestrian fatalities are soaring and bike commuting is leveling off nationally, despite progress in some cities and states — the latest evidence that we need leadership willing to do what works and willing to stop doing what doesn’t," according to Schmitt's summary of the report.

The contemporary trends stand in contrast to the story just a decade ago, when it seemed biking was on a "steady upward trajectory," writes Schmitt. Now biking and walking have leveled off, and many of the gains in people walking to work might be a result of more people working in post-recessionary years.

There is also institutional neglect to account for infrastructure projects that support biking an walking. "The number of new biking and walking projects being started and the total funding levels have fallen since the end of the last decade, when Obama passed his stimulus bill," explains Schmitt about findings in the report.

The article includes a call for states and the federal government to step up to support local governments in funding, planning, and constructing bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

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Published on Monday, February 11, 2019 in Streetsblog USA
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