Sign the Petition: Improve America's Walk Score

norabeck's picture

In partnership with Transportation for America, Walk Score has created an online petition to tell Congress to support walking, biking and transit in the 2009 Transportation Bill.

Sign on to the petition here.

Here's the petition text:

"Help reduce our vulnerability to oil prices by tripling—or more—the share of funding for walking, biking and public transit.

Build a world-class rail network—both between cities and within them—that links our communities and transports people and goods more efficiently.

Require that roads are safe for everyone using them—including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, as well as motorists."

Walk Score has compiled some interesting statistics:

* Congress spends about $60 billion a year on transportation.
* Nearly 85% of that goes to expanding or maintaining highways.
* Only 1.5%—about $3 per American per year—goes to support walking and biking. About 15% goes to support public transit.
* 83% percent of Americans live in metropolitan areas, yet only 5% live within walking distance of decent public transit.

"Getting a great Walk Score doesn't happen by chance. Walkable neighborhoods result from smart policy decisions that allocate our tax dollars and set the rules for development.

Unfortunately, current federal rules and funding priorities make it difficult for communities to create walkable neighborhoods."


Transportation Funds Need to flow where people are--and will be!

So 85% of federal transportation funds flow to highways? There's a convenient assumption among supporters of the road lobby that a similarly high percentage of people use highways on a daily basis, but that's obviously not true. The local roads get a far larger share of the traffic, yet they go wanting for funds. If anyone has that figure, please provide it. It'd be great to have.

Where it is available and serves walkable neighborhoods, transit too grabs an impressive share of commuting traffic, but it too goes wanting for funds. With high gas prices already reducing traffic on highways, it's clear we're overbuilt with highways, it's time for a shift of funding to local streets and transit. Future generations will thank us.


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