After the Bike Summit, Ray LaHood announces the US DOT's new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations.
It is simply the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting secretary of transportation.
It sounds like a National Complete Streets initiative:
Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.
We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:
- Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
- Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
- Go beyond minimum design standards.
- Collect data on walking and biking trips.
- Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
- Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
- Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.
Tony Kornheiser is not going to like this.
On his blog LaHood goes on
And our ongoing inter-agency DOT-EPA-HUD partnership on sustainable communities actively encourages planning for walkability and bikability. We think livability means giving folks the flexibility to choose their own mobility.
Look, bike projects are relatively fast and inexpensive to build and are environmentally sustainable; they reduce travel costs, dramatically improve safety and public health, and reconnect citizens with their communities.
This is great news. An administration that wants to put active transportation on equal footing with driving.