U. S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has responded to a complaint by CRBC about her statement on the PBS Newshour that bike paths and trails are not transportation facilities.
Here is her reply:
THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20590
October 4, 2007
Thank you for your e-mail about the importance of bicycling and walking as a form of
transportation. I share your interest in a safe, efficient mullimodal transportation system.
Your e-mail discussed comments I made during a recent interview regarding the importance
of effectively prioritizing major transportation spending decisions. These comments were in
no way intended as an indictment of bicycle and pedestrian investments broadly. Rather, they
were part of a much larger critique of the processes by which investment decisions are
increasingly being made at the Federal level. Too often, political influence and power arc
guiding transportation spending priorities, instead of merit, competition, data, and analysis.
The U.S. Department of Transportation believes that bicyclists and pedestrians are legitimate
and welcome users of our Nation’s transportation system. They are a healthy part of the
solution to congestion in our urban areas. We also believe that States, metropolitan planning
organizations, and transit agencies are in the best position to understand the unique needs of
their own communities, which is why we have continued to strongly support broad eligibility
under the Federal-aid program for a diverse mix of transportation investments, including
bicycle and pedestrian transportation facilities.
Programs that improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians arc also eligible for Federal safety
dollars. Although the number of bicyclist and pedestrian injuries and fatalities has dropped by
10 percent since 1994, fatalities have increased in the last 2 years, and this is not acceptable.
Thank you again for voicing your opinion. I hope to continue to work with bicycling and
pedestrian advocates as we face the challenges of meeting our country’s changing