From the League of American Bicyclists:
As members of Congress enter the critical stages of negotiations on a federal
transportation bill, the League of American Bicyclists releases the following
statement from League President, Andy Clarke.
For the past 20 years, local elected officials have had access to state
transportation funds through a handful of federal programs for bicycling and
walking initiatives: Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements and
Recreational Trails. They account for just 1.5 percent of the overall federal
transportation bill and have all been heavily over-subscribed since their
Despite the overwhelming success and popularity of these programs, House
Republican leadership and a handful of influential Senators have waged an
unexplained and inexplicable vendetta against these programs -- not to save the
government any money, just to prevent state or local governments spending their
money on these specific programs and activities, removing any vestige of local
control over transportation investments.
Here are our top ten reasons why members of Congress must reject these
small-minded and vindictive attacks.
- A recent national survey found overwhelming bipartisan support among the
American public: 83 percent of respondents support continued or increased
federal funding for bicycling and walking programs.
- More than 70 national organizations -- from the NAACP to the AARP -- have
united to urge Congress to preserve control over biking and walking projects in
the federal transportation bill.
- Transportation investment in bicycling, pedestrian and trail projects are
more effective in creating jobs, per dollar spent, than traditional road
- From 2001 to 2010, more than 50,000 pedestrians were killed because our
roads remain unsafe for the most vulnerable users: people who walk.
- Bicycling reduces traffic jams: Even a 1.2 percent reduction in vehicle
miles traveled in 2011 resulted in 30 percent reduction in congestion in our
major metro areas.
- A small investment makes a big difference: In cities that have invested in
bicycling programs there has been a 77% increase in bicycle commuting since
- Small-scale projects to improve the safety, functionality and operation of
highway system for all users are popular, successful, and get done quickly.
Mega-highway projects with will still take years to get built even through a
- There are so many benefits beyond transportation to investing in more
walkable, bike-friendly communities. Highway agencies may not care about health
or livability but the American public does.
- Biking and walking improve military readiness: The U.S. military is so
concerned about the general lack of physical fitness among kids that they are
big supporters of the Safe Routes to School program.
- Bicycling and walking make up 12% of all the trips that are made by
Americans; 14% of traffic fatalities are bicyclists or pedestrians; but only
1.5% of federal transportation funds address these issues.