Feds: Where We've Added Bikeways, Biking Up 50%

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Ray LaHood in bike helmet, with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) (Photo: USDOT)

A federal program to encouraging biking and walking in four communities -- Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Minneapolis, MN; and Sheboygan County, WI, is meeting with success, according to a new bike month post by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on his Fastlane blog.

LaHood describes the program as "a four-year effort required by Congress to construct a network of sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian and bicycle trails connecting directly with schools, residences, businesses, recreation areas, transit centers, and other community activity centers."

According to LaHood:

  • Over four years, people in these four communities alone walked or bicycled an estimated 32 million miles they would have otherwise driven;
  • The communities saw an average increase of 49 percent in the number of bicyclists and a 22 percent increase in the number of pedestrians;
  • The percentage of trips taken by bike instead of car increased 36 percent, and those taken on foot increased 14 percent;
  • While each pilot community experienced increases in bicycling and walking, fatal bicycle and pedestrian crashes held steady or decreased in all of the communities; and
  • The pilot communities saved an estimated 7,701 tons of CO2 in 2010.

Oh by the way, LaHood dons a helmet and urges you to do the same.