Illinois Congressman Pushes for Pro-Bike Transportation Bill

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), an early supporter of the congressional "complete streets" bill, is circulating a letter to his House colleagues that urges support for pro-bike provisions in the upcoming federal transportation bill. Here’s how Lipinski put it:

lip.jpgRep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) (Photo: Washington Post)

There is growing national interest in bicycling, and there is a wide array of public benefits that are derived from non-motorized transportation. Increased bicycling opportunities can reduce congestion, improve mobility, enhance quality of life and livable communities, and promote recreational and healthy activities. While federal support and program integration for bicycling has improved greatly since 1991 – increasing above one-percent of funding in recent years – the new authorization of the surface transportation program provides an opportunity to build upon this progress.

His letter suggests four specific goals for bike advocates in Congress:

  • inclusion of a "complete streets" policy in the federal transportation bill, similar to the one included in this week’s House climate change bill;
  • increased accessibility for transportation users through "better physical integration of roads, sidewalks, bike paths and transit systems";
  • more equitable distribution of highway safety funds to reflect the 13 percent fatality rate for pedestrians and bikers;
  • increased funding for the Safe Routes to School program, which helps protect children who walk or bike to classes each day.

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