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Ohio considers returning millions for biking and walking in cities; what you can do

Marc Lefkowitz  |  07/07/11 @ 5:13pm

Advocacy group ClevelandBikes is making a case for Ohio to invest, to not give back tens of millions of dollars that can be used to add bike lanes and crosswalks on road projects. They explain:

"The Federal Highway Administration informed state Departments of Transportation of another rescission of funds, this time totaling $2.5 billion. Unfortunately, we need to act quickly as FHWA issued their notice as the nation started to go on (the July 4) holiday, asking for the states to respond by July 8th. Here is a link to the information from League of American Bicyclists.

In August 2010, almost $1 billion was returned to FHWA from the funds that are primarily used to fund cycling and walking projects, out of a $2.2 billion total rescission.

Nationwide, less than 1.5% of funds authorized under the federal transportation law have been allocated for projects to improve the safety of walking and bicycling. Pedestrians comprise 11.8 % of all traffic deaths, and trips made on foot account for almost 9% of total trips.

By all measures, bicycle riding is up and fatalities are down. One reason is better public awareness, another is the construction and use of better facilities for riding, including bike lanes, paths, lights and signs. Here are some statistics that should bolster the case for more investment not less:

  • Bike commuters rose in the U.S. by 64% from 1990 to 2009, with the bike share of commuters rising from .4 to .6%.
  • Cycling fatalities (down 21%) and serious injuries (down 31%) (1988-2008).
  • Cities are using a range of activities to encourage riding, such as creation of infrastructure such as lanes and paths. Source: "Analysis of Bicycling Trends and Policies in Large North American Cities" Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University (2011).

ClevelandBikes asks you to contact the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Governor to say "NO! Don't single out cycling and walking projects when you make rescission recommendations. Tell ODOT and the Governor, cyclists have given enough already!"

Governor John Kasich Riffe Center, 30th Floor 77 South High Street Columbus, Oh 43215-6117 http://governor.ohio.gov/ShareYourIdeas.aspx  Phone: (614) 466-3555

ODOT Director Jerry Wray 2nd Floor, 1980 West Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43223 Phone: (614) 466-2336 fax: (614) 644-8662 no email address provided

Thanks for all your efforts to support cycling and walking projects in Ohio.

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