Friday, February 3, 2012

Transportation Bill

The House transportation bill currently on the table cuts bicycling and walking infrastructure.

We recall it as a simpler time when kids on Schwinns rode their bikes to school and suburban sidewalks were actually used for walking. Federal statistics indicate as recently as 30 years ago two thirds of our kids biked or walked to school. Well, that has certainly changed.

Today, less than 13 percent of our kids use the old foot-mobile, or ride their two wheelers to class. Making children more mobile was what the Federal Safe Routes to School program was all about. It started in 2005 but could soon come to a screeching halt. It's one of the programs on the chopping block as Congress considers a new federal transportation bill.

It eliminates a requirement that states provide bike and pedestrian accommodation when there's major bridge replacement. It repeals the Safe Routes to School program which has been so instrumental in trying to make sure that kids can get to school safely on their own - to make sure that there are bike lanes, that there are curb cuts, that there are sidewalks for heaven's sakes - common sense steps that make our kids safer, and frankly give our families more choices so that people aren't having to shuttle kids to school and have another traffic jam in the neighborhood every morning.

12 percent of our trips are made by biking and walking, and yet 1.6 percent of federal money that is spent on transportation goes to cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

It's ironic when we're looking at the health of the economy - these bike and pedestrian projects actually create more jobs per million dollars than just dropping asphalt for roads.

When we're concerned about the health of the population, taking away resources that make it easier for family members to get out and be active - move - to be able to improve their individual health. And we're concerned about the health of our communities, to take away essential investments that allow our transportation systems to work better for everybody, it is more than a step backwards, it is really an assault on 20 years of progress.

DeFazio Statement on the Transportation Bill Markup

Oregon State Representative Peter DeFazio's strong fight but pro-bike amendment defeated by two votes. He calls the defeaters "know nothing" but "no nothing" sounds good too.

Prioritization of Key Projects

The Florence Transportation System Plan draft can be downloaded here

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Multi-use Paths / Trail Projects

The recommended Multi-use Paths and Trail projects for the City of Florence by the Transportation Advisery Committee

Bicycle Projects

Here the recommended bicycle projects for the City of Florence by the Transportation Advisery Committee