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Cyclists rally in support of bicycle-pedestrian transportation policy

June 1, 2010

On his blog today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood writes about the recent show of support he found for his earlier comments that bicyclists and pedestrians should have a voice in crafting transportation policy.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, right, kicks off Click It Or Ticket, a national enforcement mobilization that encourages all motorists to wear their seat belts day and night, in Washington, Monday, May 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

LaHood said dozens of bicyclists arrived at the U.S. Department of Transportation offices on Friday to offer letters of support for the inclusion of peddlers and walkers in the dialogue.

From LaHood’s blog

Now, as gratifying as that was, my response was simple: If we’re going to be a Department of Transportation with a comprehensive approach, we need to promote biking and walking along with other modes of moving people and goods around.

But–and it’s time we were all clear on this point–that does not take away from any other form of transportation.

Look, everyone has his or her own transportation priority. And for some, that transportation priority is tightly connected to earning a living, so the idea that investing in one form of transportation comes at the expense of another is not unimportant. I get that.

But, making walking and biking safer and more accessible is relatively inexpensive. For example, we could upgrade the entire 2,250 mile East Coast Greenway, a network of bike routes stretching all the way from Key West to Maine, for only one-fifth the cost of a single recent I-95 bridge over the Potomac.

We’re really talking about a very small sliver of the transportation budget.

How refreshing to hear that the discussion about how this country approaches transportation is more than deciding how much asphalt to lay and how many highways to build or widen. There’s been a move toward that here in Owensboro with the recent addition of bicycle routes that will hopefully be just a first step into encouraging a broader range of transportation options and making them safe.

Thoughts?

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