$1 Billion to Bicycle and Pedestrians Projects in 2010, Enough for One Bridge
The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) recently reported on some good and bad news for those who like clean, green transportation.
For the second year in a row, federal spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects exceeded $1 billion. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Financial Management Information System (FMIS), U.S. states “obligated” – that’s FHWA’s way of saying spent – $1.04 billion of federal funds on bicycle and pedestrian projects in fiscal year 2010. As in FY 2009, just more than a third ($337 million) came from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds.
The $1 billion spent on biking and walking projects is a great and welcome step. It is being used to create miles of bicycling facilities, countless bike parking spaces, hundreds of safer routes to schools for children, recreational trails, and other needed projects. However, it is still a drop in the overall transportation-bucket. Bicycling and walking make up 12 percent of all trips and yet receive just two percent of all federal transportation funding. To put the billion dollars in perspective, the amount of federal money spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects, nation-wide, in FY 2010 is equal to the cost of just one bridge in the Port of Long Beach.
I would love to think that spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects would go up soon to address global climate change, obesity, and traffic congestion, but with incoming members of Congress (funded by Big Oil) promising to cut funding for clean transportation and great bicycle advocates leaving, my hopes are not high.
Read more from the LAB here: $1 billion to bicycle and pedestrians projects in FY 2010.
And help improve funding and support for bicycling by bicycling more yourself.
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Photo Credit: Bicycle/pedestrian path in New York City by niznoz via flickr (CC license)