DOT Secy Wants “Sustained Engagement” from Bike Advocates

OK, so we still really don’t like the name of the DOT Secretary’s blog, The Fast Lane. (Not to mention the design — could someone do something about those graphics, please?) But more and more, we like what we’re reading there. Like yesterday’s post, titled "Bicycling Is an Important Factor in Less Carbon-Intensive Commuting," in which Secretary LaHood discusses funding opportunities for bicycling infrastructure in the stimulus bill and beyond:

mary_ave_bridge1.jpgIn Silicon Valley, the future is now: this new bike and pedestrian bridge is now open. Photo courtesy of LERA.

When I told the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit that "Cyclists are important users of America’s transportation systems," I meant it. And, when I wrote that "With DOT, bicyclists have a full partner in working toward livable communities," I meant that as well. President Obama has challenged us to transform the way transportation serves the American people by creating more choices and encouraging less carbon-intensive transportation, and we are working hard on that challenge.

The upcoming reauthorization of DOT’s surface transportation programs provides an opportunity for us to feature bicycling as part of a new American mobility within livable communities. As I said today in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, this includes fostering communities where bicyclists feel both safe and welcome on the roadways. Bike-friendly development also has the potential to contribute significantly to the revitalization of downtown districts and offer an alternative to sprawl and automobile-focused commuting.

Earth Day is today, but we’ll need the sustained engagement of bicycle commuters and their advocates in the weeks and months to come to help keep the wheels of bicycle-friendly legislation on the road.

Hear that, folks?

The member blogs of the Streetsblog Network know all about sustained engagement. Today, we’re featuring a post from Transbay Blog on some new bike infrastructure in Silicon Valley, the result of years of advocacy and commitment:

Two new bridges at Borregas Avenue in Sunnyvale, crossing over both Highway 237 and Highway 101, have finally opened,
and they will allow an anticipated 2,000 daily bicyclists and pedestrians to cross over the freeway instead of traveling a couple miles out of their way to the nearest through street. …The Borregas corridor and Mary Avenue bridges are just two components of VTA’s rather extensive
25-year Bicycle Expenditure Plan, which represents a considerable investment in livable streets improvements scattered throughout Santa Clara County. Yours truly may prefer walking and transit over bicycling, but we nonetheless look forward to the day when San Francisco’s Bicycle Plan will have completed its wandering journey through environmental review — so that new bicycle infrastructure in San Francisco can catch up to these improvements in the South Bay.

Plus: Pedestrianist passes along word of a road-striping experiment to slow traffic in Virginia, and Orphan Road pleads for some common-sense transit-oriented development in Seattle.

  • Ah! You missed the best part of LaHood’s post. “The remainder of the “highway” money also creates an opportunity to build complete streets.” You have to love the quotes around ‘highway’!

  • gecko

    Just called in to 311 that for more than a week a pile of garbage has been nearly blocking the pedestrian-bike path that goes over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway between Luquer and Hamilton in Red Hook and 4th Place and Hamilton in Carrol Gardens.

    They couldn’t locate this pedestrian overpass in their records but, said they would try to resolve the issue.

    A few of those nice shiny new Silicon Valley-type pedestrian bike paths would sure be nice here also! Lots and lots of protected cycle tracks would be even better.

  • Sarah Goodyear

    Gecko,

    I have often seen that bridge covered in garbage. I think people might live up there sometimes. It is creepy. Not surprised the city didn’t know about it. It seems like part of a lost world.

  • gecko

    Take the pedestrian bridge all the time by bike and foot as it is the quickest way to the Carrol Street subway station from Red Hook and the safest way to cross that BQE and Hamilton Street mess to Prospect Park, Lowes, etc.; though, never appears on Google Maps.

    Apparently, it’s been there forever and reported to always be kind of run down.

    Wouldn’t take much to fix it up; community effort, school project (which is at the Carrol Gardens entrance); or “Ikea Bridge”; replace and or get rid of that little bit of junked up scaffolding; great way to Red Hook pool in the summer from Carrol Gardens as used by locals years back.

  • gecko

    #4 gecko (continued),

    . . . as a cautionary, because the Luquer Street / 4th Place bike-pedestrian bridge is isolated there seems to have been incidents reported at night.

    Daytime does not seem to be a problem and gets a fair amount of use.

  • gecko

    #2 gecko (update),

    Department of Sanitation just called to say that they are resolving the issue.

  • bb

    I am not sure why they don’t try to change the name. Fast Lane

    http://www.google.com/search?q=fast+lane+blog&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&

    If I searched Google and got P*owned by GM. I think I would want to change my blog name.

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