Friday, September 14, 2007

The Bike is For Show, Not to Go

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Fri, Sep 14, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Salon has a story today about Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, who thinks that bike paths and trails "are really not transportation."

It likely surprises no one that she pissed off the wrong interest group.

In fact, only about 1.5 percent of federal transportation dollars go to fund bike paths and walking trails. In the meantime, 10 percent of all U.S. trips to work, school and the store occur on bike or foot, and bicyclists and pedestrians account for about 12 percent of annual traffic fatalities, according to the Federal Highway Administration. "We represent a disproportionate share of the injuries, and we get a minuscule share of the funds," says Robert Raburn, executive director of the East Bay Bike Coalition in the San Francisco Bay Area, who calls the Peters' comments "outrageous." Plus, he notes, with problems like global warming, the obesity epidemic and energy independence, shouldn't the U.S. secretary of transportation be praising biking, not complaining about it?

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