Thanks to BIG (Bicycling in Greensboro) for sending in the following:
Last June, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Ray LaHood, the secretary of the US Department of Transportation (DOT), and Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly announced that they had formed an Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. In the past, these 3 entities have worked largely in isolation, but this partnership established a new directive for working collaboratively for the greater benefit of the public they serve. They articulated 6 core livability principles that their partnership would pursue, including one that clearly points to an emphasis on walking, bicycling, and transit:
“Develop safe, reliable and economical transportation choices in order to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nations’ dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote public health.”
The significance of this partnership is that these 3 agencies are now not only going to be working in alignment with each other, but they are going to be requiring their state and local counterparts, which receive massive amounts of federal funding, to align with this new directive and coordinate in similar fashion. The full text of the agreement is available here:
In March, following the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC, US DOT Secretary LaHood announced on his blog that: “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized” Here’s the full blog post:
Here’s the official policy announcement he issued that day regarding bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in transportation projects:
In April, the Centers for Disease Control issued Recommendations for Improving Health through Transportation Policy, which also places a s strong emphasis on bicycling, walking, and transit. The basic announcement is here:
The full text of the recommendations is here:
The bottom line of all this wonky policy stuff is that we can expect to see some real changes in the way bicycle and pedestrian accommodation is dealt with, across the US, NC, and the Greensboro area.
As Bob Dylan sings “The times they are a changin'”
Happy National Bike Month!