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Jul 4, 2010

Cycling and walking on the rise in US

Federal Government expenditure on cycling and walking has risen exponentially in the US but from a small base. It is still a tiny fraction of the budget.

This graphic is from GOOD and is titled The Rise of Walking and Biking (click to enlarge). The supporting text says “You may be seeing more people out on the street walking and biking. But it’s not just because the weather is nice. There are more people walking and biking year round, and the Department of Transportation is responding by dramatically increasing the amount of money spent on projects for pedestrians and cyclists”.

The increase in walking and cycling has comfortably out-paced population growth. Nevertheless, the ‘headline’ message is the increase in expenditure by the US Department of Transportation on sustainable forms of travel – it has risen much faster than either walking or cycling (from $6 million in 1990 to $1.2 billion in 2009), particularly since President Obama appointed former Republican House of Reps Member, Ray LaHood, to the position of Secretary of Transportation.

$1.2 billion looks good, but bear in mind that President Obama’s budget request for FY 2010 is over $3.5 trillion.

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