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Published on March 23rd, 2010 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Cars, Cyclists, and Pedestrians are All Equal According To DOT

March 23rd, 2010 by  
 

Though it may be hard for us to imagine, there was a time not that long ago when if you needed to go somewhere, you walked. If you were lucky, you rode a horse. When the bicycle came around in the 1890’s, it was a revolution for personal mobility. But when the car came along, the party was over as cyclists and pedestrians alike were shuffled aside as the car took over all consideration for transportation.

In a dramatic overturn of previous policy, the Department of Transportation has declared that the needs of walkers, cyclists, and cars are all equal. So will we see more integrated biking lanes and facilities as well as a push towards more walkable communities?

The policy will encourage individual states to launch transportation projects that take into consideration more than just the needs of drivers. Even though I love driving, I think this is incredibly important. I hate crosswalks, which are often added as an afterthought. Better road planning and raised bridges can alleviate a lot of the congestion associated with crosswalks. Bike lanes and laws protecting bikers can encourage people to forgo the five-minute commute, and hop on their bike instead. Bikes might even get their own roads or trails, as they do in some parts of Connecticut (mostly old converted railways).

These projects will not replace funding for traditional highways, but the Feds are going to encourage states to come up with their own ideas. Biking and walking is obviously more healthy than driving a car, and maybe it could even replace short term commutes in many places. I love my cars, but I have nothing against a good walk or bike ride. Plus it gets more drivers off of the road, and out of my way!

Source: Wired | Image: prestashrader





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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • John

    When I moved to my current location after grad school, I intentionally picked a place to live that is less than a mile from work. I walk or bike every day of the year. What’s striking to me is that coworkers always say how jealous they are of my short commute, yet when they had the opportunity to choose to live close to work, they didn’t take it. Instead, they went for a place that was marginally cheaper, or marginally bigger, or whatever. Maybe they made the right choice for them, but I wonder if perhaps they underestimated the value of living close to work when they made their housing choices. I think people are so conditioned to think that they have to drive everywhere that they often don’t really think about how much better their lives could be if they lived close enough to walk to work. More exercise, less commuting stress. It’s really our day-to-day experiences that define our lives and determine our happiness. I’m not sure people really get that.

  • John

    When I moved to my current location after grad school, I intentionally picked a place to live that is less than a mile from work. I walk or bike every day of the year. What’s striking to me is that coworkers always say how jealous they are of my short commute, yet when they had the opportunity to choose to live close to work, they didn’t take it. Instead, they went for a place that was marginally cheaper, or marginally bigger, or whatever. Maybe they made the right choice for them, but I wonder if perhaps they underestimated the value of living close to work when they made their housing choices. I think people are so conditioned to think that they have to drive everywhere that they often don’t really think about how much better their lives could be if they lived close enough to walk to work. More exercise, less commuting stress. It’s really our day-to-day experiences that define our lives and determine our happiness. I’m not sure people really get that.

  • John

    When I moved to my current location after grad school, I intentionally picked a place to live that is less than a mile from work. I walk or bike every day of the year. What’s striking to me is that coworkers always say how jealous they are of my short commute, yet when they had the opportunity to choose to live close to work, they didn’t take it. Instead, they went for a place that was marginally cheaper, or marginally bigger, or whatever. Maybe they made the right choice for them, but I wonder if perhaps they underestimated the value of living close to work when they made their housing choices. I think people are so conditioned to think that they have to drive everywhere that they often don’t really think about how much better their lives could be if they lived close enough to walk to work. More exercise, less commuting stress. It’s really our day-to-day experiences that define our lives and determine our happiness. I’m not sure people really get that.

  • John

    When I moved to my current location after grad school, I intentionally picked a place to live that is less than a mile from work. I walk or bike every day of the year. What’s striking to me is that coworkers always say how jealous they are of my short commute, yet when they had the opportunity to choose to live close to work, they didn’t take it. Instead, they went for a place that was marginally cheaper, or marginally bigger, or whatever. Maybe they made the right choice for them, but I wonder if perhaps they underestimated the value of living close to work when they made their housing choices. I think people are so conditioned to think that they have to drive everywhere that they often don’t really think about how much better their lives could be if they lived close enough to walk to work. More exercise, less commuting stress. It’s really our day-to-day experiences that define our lives and determine our happiness. I’m not sure people really get that.

  • I have seen papers that show the reduced infrastructure cost on highways in Denmark is more than great enough to pay for all of the cycling projects. Also that reduction in healthcare costs by itself is cost effective too.

  • I have seen papers that show the reduced infrastructure cost on highways in Denmark is more than great enough to pay for all of the cycling projects. Also that reduction in healthcare costs by itself is cost effective too.

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