Capitol Hill Bid For Bicycle Safety | Living on Earth

Citi Bike in New York City is the largest bike share program in the United States. (Bitstock photo)
Cyclists and pedestrians account for nearly 16 percent of all highway deaths yet receive just 1 percent of safety related funding. The founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer, tells host Steve Curwood that a new Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act he introduced to Congress could change the priorities.


CURWOOD: From the Jennifer and Ted Stanley Studios in Boston, this is Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood. For years in America, the car has been king. As General Motors once put it, “it’s not just your car, it’s your freedom.” But increasingly Americans are finding a new kind of freedom, the freedom from traffic jams and lack of exercise that can be found behind the handlebars of a bicycle. So as driving mileage has dropped by more than eight percent in the past decade, at the same time the proportion of people commuting to work by bike has increased in 85 of 100 of America's largest cities. One of those two-wheel commuters is Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer, the founder of the Congressional bike caucus. The Representative recently introduced the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act, legislation that he says America badly needs.