A Bike-Ped State of the Union: 9.6% of Trips, 1.2% of Federal Funding

With the nation still digesting the State of the Union address, the
Alliance for Biking & Walking picked an auspicious day to release
their biennial Benchmarking report on America’s bike-ped behavior. The
group’s bottom-line conclusion: federal transportation funding
continues to disproportionately shortchange travelers powered by their
own two feet.

chrt.png(Chart: Alliance for Biking & Walking)

The
Alliance crunched numbers from all 50 states to determine how much of
their federal transportation dollars are spent on improving bike-ped
infrastructure, access, and safety.

Overall, the report
found that biking and walking account for 9.6 percent of all U.S. trips
(0.9 percent of that share from biking, 8.7 percent from walking) but
just 1.2 percent of federal transport spending.

That gap
was exacerbated in recent months by a cancellation of transportation
funding that occurred when Congress failed to pass a new six-year
federal bill in the fall. Many states trimmed disproportionately
from their Transportation Enhancements funds, which come from
Washington’s highway program and account for about half of federal
bike-ped spending.

But that doesn’t mean states are entirely
losing ground when it comes to bike-ped improvements. Since the
Alliance’s last report in 2007, the number of states setting goals to
boost walking and biking has risen by 44 percent — while the number of
states working on decreasing bike-ped fatalities has increased by 78
percent.

The Alliance also singled out states doing
particularly well — and poorly — at encouraging residents to walk and
bike. Some of the highest-achieving states may come as a surprise
(Alaska, home of the "bridge to nowhere," is tops for walking to work).
Check out a few winners and losers after the jump, and download the
Alliance’s complete Benchmarking report right here.

Share of commuters who walk: Alaska at No.1, Alabama at No. 50

Share of commuters who bike: Oregon at No. 1, Alabama at No. 50

Bike-ped fatality rates: Vermont has the lowest, Florida the highest

Per-capita bike-ped funding: Virginia has the lowest, Alaska the highest

  • Alex

    But Is Alaska #1 for walking only because they include snowshoeing, skiing and sledding as walking? 😉

  • noah

    I’m all for increasing spending on bike issues, but it should be noted that, although bikes are 9.6% of TRIPS, they are nowhere near 9.6% of mileage.

  • @noah, maybe mileage needs to be reduced?

  • ZA

    @ Noah – I tend to think increasing bicycling and walking is to the mutual benefit of cars and transit. Removing all the cars doing those under-5 or under-10 mile trips opens up the road for people who really need it, and that only really starts to come together when transit starts to compete for bicycling commuters for those longer distances.

    So, if bicycling and walking got the kind of optimal design resources given to the car, they’d start to get an even chance for a public that rightly wants safety, convenience, and security between and at points A and B.

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