Saint Ray

Photo copied from the U.S Secretary of Transportation 
No, I am not implying that Ray LaHood is a bona fide Saint (no more than each of us, mere mortals, I suppose). But what I mean by the title of this post is that finally (finally!) there is someone in the U.S government lobbying for equal rights for cyclists and pedestrians. Ray LaHood is the U.S. Secretary of Transportation (He and I also share the same ethnic heritage...German-Lebanese...not that that has anything to do with this blog, just thought I'd mention it). Anyhow, the following is a portion of his recent speech; it's cut-and-paste directly from his blog. This is very exciting news. Thank you Mr. LaHood.

Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.
We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:
  • Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Go beyond minimum design standards.
  • Collect data on walking and biking trips.
  • Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
  • Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
  • Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.
Now, this is a start, but it's an important start. These initial steps forward will help us move forward even further