Thursday, December 04 2008 @ 01:01 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
* Per US DOT survey 73% would welcome new and improved bicycle facilities#1
* Per NHTSA survey 89% of bike trips begin at a residence and only 7% at a recreational site#2
* Over 75% of all car trips in the US are for distances under ten miles and nearly 60% are for distances under five miles.#3 (Easy biking distances for a reasonably healthy adult.)
* Per recommendations of TFAH and RWJF increase access to safe, accessible places for physical activity in communities. Examples include creating and maintaining … bike lanes and providing incentives for smart growth designs that make communities more livable#4
* School districts in Maryland are consolidating bus stops, canceling field trips and forcing students to walk longer distances to school to control fuel costs.#5 (But in reality it will be putting more cars on the road.)
* Parents driving their kids to school contributes as much as 20% of rush hour traffic#6
* Bicycling is a major source of childhood injuries but being a passenger in a car is the leading source of childhood injury#7
* Motor vehicle traffic fatalities is the leading cause of death for the ages 1-34#8
* The second leading cause of death in the United States is inactivity just behind tobacco#9
Sad stats for Maryland:
* Maryland has had statistically significant increases in the obesity rate for three years in a row per the F as in Fat Report.#10
* Maryland ranks the 6th worst state (up from number 9) for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities per all traffic fatalities per FARS#11
* Maryland ranks 35 out of 50 for bike friendliness per the League of American Bicyclists.#12
* Maryland ranks the 5th lowest bike/ped spending per capita for the last 3 years, spending $1.61/capita/year with the National average of $6.14 and the National high of $38.16.#13
* Maryland spends 0.62% of its Federal Funds on Bike/ped projects the National average is 1.78% and a National high of 5.40%#14
So we wounder why is our state below the national average of the modal share of biking to work?
Federal Law requires that a bike network be identified - and a decent one has been identified but not funded.#15 Without funds, area bike plans have laid dormant for years.
Despite policies to improve bicycle access and projects to improve bicycling in the area the net gain is virtually nil, more attention is needed.
The FHWA says:
* Provide 20:80 match to "create more walkable and bicycle-friendly communities." #16
* Bicycle projects must be "principally for transportation, rather than recreation, purposes.#17
* Provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists,#18
But MDOT says:
* Federal Aid should only go to jurisdictions that are in the least need of Federal Aid by upping the matching requirements to 50:50 (Jurisdictions with the most need generally get less funding) (Priorities need to be established to get funding (in order of need) to Baltimore City, Montgomery, Baltimore, Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties.)
* Transportation Enhancement funding can only be spent on recreational trails.#19
* The inclusion of quality material in the State's Drivers' Manual for the responsibility of motorists in regards to bicyclists and pedestrians safety as well as the rights of bicyclists and pedestrians is too expensive (it will add additional pages) and adding more then 20 questions to the drivers test will make it too hard.
Additionally, more attention is needed to enforce, prosecute and levy fair and just punishments to those who disobey traffic laws (no more hand slaps #20) as well as enforcement of bicycle and pedestrian safety. This also has the added benefit of reducing crime.#21