Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s Fastlane blog announces a new policy that puts walking and bicycling on equal footing with motor vehicles! He uses the words “sea change,” and this certainly has the potential to be that. The policy includes:
- Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
- Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
- Go beyond minimum design standards.
- Collect data on walking and biking trips.
- Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
- Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal).
- Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.
Wow! You’ll want to read the detail of the policy as well.
Of course the federal government only has some control over what the states do, even with federal money, so it will also take change at the state level that has so far never happened. I think now is the time to exert pressure on NDOT and on the state legislature to change the way things are done in Nevada. A rational transportation system that works for everyone is now a step closer, and many many more steps are needed. Literally. We have a lot of poor decisions and damage from the past that will take a long time to correct, but if we can at least head in the right direction, we are moving towards a better world.