Wednesday, March 24, 2010

USDOT Policy Statement of Bike and Pedestrian Accomodations


Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood issued a new policy statement on March 16th that calls for full inclusion of pedestrians and bicyclists in transportation projects, with particular attention paid to transit riders and people of all ages and levels of mobility. Blogging yesterday, Secretary LaHood said, "This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.

"The National Complete Streets Coalition is calling this policy a full embrace of Complete Streets Policy. Key recommendations for state DOTs and communities include:Consider walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes;Ensure convenient choices for people of all ages and abilities; Go beyond minimum design standards; Integrate bicycle and pedestrian accommodation on new, rehabilitated, and limited-access bridges; Collect data on walking and biking trips;Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling and track them over time;Maintain sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are maintained, especially during snowy weather; andImprove non-motorized facilities during maintenance projects.CenterLines staff caught up with Charlene Lee of Smart Coast in Alabama to ask about the effect this policy would have on the efforts in southern Alabama.Lee said, "Getting municipalities in Baldwin and Mobile counties to adopt and implement Complete Streets Policies has been a centerpiece of our Healthy Coastal Connections Project (HCC). One of the primary goals of HCC is to make it safer, more convenient and more attractive for youngsters and people of all ages and abilities to walk and bicycle not only in their towns but across the region.""We know people won’t walk or bike if their routes are not continuous or safe."Mobile has a long way to go when it comes to protecting its pedestrians. The recent Dangerous by Design report revealed there were 31 pedestrians killed in 2007-8, while at the same time the City’s spending on things like sidewalks, crosswalks, and other road safety programs, falls well below comparable cities like Chattanooga, and Birmingham."The new USDOT policy gives local organizations like ours exactly what we need to more effectively work with our elected officials and transportation agencies at every level."For more information: Complete Streets Coalition, Coast and the Healthy Coastal Connection Project:"Dangerous By Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Deaths," by Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, 2009:

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