LaHood to Bike Advocates: U.S. DOT Will Be Your “Full Partner”

BikePortland‘s Jonathan Maus is in D.C. today for the National Bike Summit, where Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave the opening address this morning. From Maus’s recap:

At the outset of his remarks, he said, “I want all of you to know you
have a full partner at the US DOT in working toward livable
communities”. A key theme of LaHood’s remarks was that he and President
Obama will work hard help make communities nicer places to walk and
bike. LaHood said that he and Obama, “Will work toward an America where
bikes are recognized to coexist with other modes and to safely share
our roads and bridges.”

One bright spot that did not go unnoticed by the crowd is that
LaHood said he and other transportation officials plan to study
European models of bike and walk-friendly facilities this spring
(something Portland, New York City, and others have already been doing).

We’ll see how LaHood’s words translate into policy, but it sure beats some of the rhetoric we heard from prior DOT Sec Mary Peters.

In
another encouraging development, Maus reports that representative James
Oberstar, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee, is meeting with prominent bike lawyers to discuss national traffic justice legislation.

  • “Thomas describes the initiative as a way to create a federal law to ensure equitable treatment of people on bicycles who are involved in crashes. Too often, he says, drivers do not receive serious charges in collision cases. The way the system is set up now, police officers and prosecutors (for a variety of reasons) will often not even attempt to press serious charges against motorists.

    Oberstar wants to fix the system so there’s a better chance that justice will be done. ”

    Well ha-le-fricken-lu-lah.

    When the SFPD tries to pull that crap, the response has been the anguished wringing of the hands.

    “Rules don’t work if people have no fear of them,” Mr. Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, said.

    -marc

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