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Illinois Congressman Pushes For Pro-Bike Transportation Bill

12:27 PM PDT on May 19, 2009

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), an early supporter
of the congressional "complete streets" bill, is circulating a letter
to his House colleagues that urges support for pro-bike provisions in
the upcoming federal transportation bill. Here's how Lipinski put it:

lip.jpgRep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) (Photo: Washington Post)

Thereis growing national interest in bicycling, and there is a wide array ofpublic benefits that are derived from non-motorized transportation.Increased bicycling opportunities can reduce congestion, improvemobility, enhance quality of life and livable communities, and promoterecreational and healthy activities. While federal support and programintegration for bicycling has improved greatly since 1991 - increasingabove one-percent of funding in recent years – the new authorization ofthe surface transportation program provides an opportunity to buildupon this progress.

His letter suggests four specific goals for bike advocates in Congress:

    • inclusion of a "complete streets" policy in the federal transportation bill, similar to the one included in this week's House climate change bill;
    • increasedaccessibility for transportation users through "better physicalintegration of roads, sidewalks, bike paths and transit systems";
    • more equitable distribution of highway safety funds to reflect the 13 percent fatality rate for pedestrians and bikers;
    • increased funding for the Safe Routes to School program, which helps protect children who walk or bike to classes each day.

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