In 2008, the government allocated less than $600 million for bicycling and walking projects. Last year, the federal government increased the fund by $400 million as part of the economic recovery program.
Last March, Ray LaHood, President Obama’s transportation secretary, declared a new policy that will give priority to bicycling and walking projects, the same important attention as those of automotive projects. This would apply in future transportation planning sessions and selection of projects, which will be included in the federal budget.
The livability initiative under the Obama’s administration aims to solve transportation concerns that have wrought the nation. The new policy by LaHood is part of a plan that gives citizens more of an alternative to driving. Aside from bicycling and walking, taking buses, streetcars and trains are also included.
A significant increase in bicycling and walking trips from the duration of 1990 to 2009 cannot be ignored. LaHood explains, “Americans want and need safe alternatives to driving. By making biking and walking safer and more accessible, we’ll be able to provide Americans with more choices and help foster more active, liveable communities.”
Under the former administration, its transportation secretary Mary Peters, thought otherwise and declared that initiatives and projects such as bike paths and trails should not be under the federal transportation policy.