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Saturday, May 3, 2014

The wild discrepancy between bike/ped trips and bike/ped funding (charts)

I remember using a very similar chart to the one above back when I was the director of a nonprofit promoting greater transportation choice (e.g., better bicycling, pedestrian, and transit options) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sadly, about 7 years later, the chart looks practically the same.
The point, of course, is that bike and pedestrian infrastructure deserves a lot more funding. A counter-argument that many bike/ped advocates wouldn't note is that bike/ped trips are shorter than auto and transit trips, so those other modes need more infrastructure and more funding. However, 11.4% of trips versus 2.1% of funding is still a huge discrepancy, and imagine how many more people would bike or walk if there was decent infrastructure in their city! Also, that counter-argument doesn't deal with the fatality issue at all, and it doesn't deal with the fact that bike and pedestrian infrastructure networks are woefully disconnected.
Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize recently made a great diagram regarding that last point. In the image below, look at the map in the bottom-left corner. If those red lines represent roads with bike lanes or off-road bike paths, that could be considered a "good" (dare I say "great") bicycling city in the US. As Mikael notes in the bottom-right diagram, however, bicyclists want to ride a lot more places than on those few, disconnected routes. The bottom-right map, with the blue lines being roads with bike lanes or off-road bike paths, shows what could genuinely be considered a bicycle-friendly city.
More over at Treehugger.com

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