With the nation still digesting the State of the Union address, the Alliance for Biking & Walking picked an auspicious day to release their biennial Benchmarking report on America’s bike-ped behavior. The group’s bottom-line conclusion: federal transportation funding continues to disproportionately shortchange travelers powered by their own two feet.
The Alliance crunched numbers from all 50 states to determine how much of their federal transportation dollars are spent on improving bike-ped infrastructure, access, and safety.
Overall, the report found that biking and walking account for 9.6 percent of all U.S. trips (0.9 percent of that share from biking, 8.7 percent from walking) but just 1.2 percent of federal transport spending.
That gap was exacerbated in recent months by a cancellation of transportation funding that occurred when Congress failed to pass a new six-year federal bill in the fall. Many states trimmed disproportionately from their Transportation Enhancements funds, which come from Washington’s highway program and account for about half of federal bike-ped spending.
But that doesn’t mean states are entirely losing ground when it comes to bike-ped improvements. Since the Alliance’s last report in 2007, the number of states setting goals to boost walking and biking has risen by 44 percent — while the number of states working on decreasing bike-ped fatalities has increased by 78 percent.
The Alliance also singled out states doing particularly well — and poorly — at encouraging residents to walk and bike. Some of the highest-achieving states may come as a surprise (Alaska, home of the "bridge to nowhere," is tops for walking to work). Check out a few winners and losers after the jump, and download the Alliance’s complete Benchmarking report right here.
Share of commuters who walk: Alaska at No.1, Alabama at No. 50
Share of commuters who bike: Oregon at No. 1, Alabama at No. 50
Bike-ped fatality rates: Vermont has the lowest, Florida the highest
Per-capita bike-ped funding: Virginia has the lowest, Alaska the highest