Thursday, March 18

LaHood announces a "sea change" at the DOT

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood stood on top of a table to address the National Bicycle Summit last week, but he waited until a few days later to reveal on his blog a new federal approach in transportation priorities:

"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."

League of American Bicyclists says,

"It is simply the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting secretary of transportation."

I imagine that LaHood enjoyed a little reprieve from press conferences on spontaneously accelerating vehicles. This announcement comes a few days after new numbers were released showing another drop in highway traffic fatalities for 2009, partially attributed to Americans' decisions to drive less. Transitions seem to be happening on a number of levels.

The new policy is available on the FHWA website, and they encourage state and local agencies to adopt a similar statement.

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