A Chance For Our Voices to Be Heard

I received the following from the League of American Bicyclists last week:

Great news – Federal Transit Authority has published a federal registry notice describing the eligibility of pedestrian and bicycle improvements for FTA funding and proposes a formal policy on the catchment area for pedestrians and bicyclists in relationship to public transportation stops and stations.

The proposed policy would expand FTA funding eligibility for bicycle and pedestrian improvements beyond the current threshold distances of one-half mile for pedestrian projects and within three miles for bicycle improvements.

The FTA is accepting comments from the public until January 12, 2010. If you want to submit comments to help improve the funding mechanisms for bicycle/pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, I urge you to do so. More detailed coverage of how this all works and the instructions for submitting comments can be found by clicking here.


  1. Steve A

    And I should give a fig about this why?

  2. Steve A

    A word of explanation about my comment – MOST of the so-called “bicycle” improvements I’ve seen have made it more difficult for me to ride legally and safely on the roads. I know that good facilities exist but most aren’t, and it only takes a few bad apples to destroy connectivity for a bike commuter. My bike commute is 20 miles each way and the nearest transit to work is more than 10 miles away, so the change is irrelevant in any event.

    Bottom line – it’s more of my taxes going to things that make things worse for me as a cyclist. So maybe I DO give a fig – stop the pork. While we’re at it, let’s stop building subsidized high speed roads as well!

  3. Mike

    Steve A, could you elaborate on what improvements have made it more difficult to ride safely?

    I’m seriously curious. I know that everyone doesn’t agree on bike lanes and that they can be designed incorrectly, but I’m not sure if that’s what you mean.

  4. rjk

    I think that bicycle specific improvements “Legitimize” bikes on the road. There are a lot of drivers that don’t think we belong and get hostile about it. I think that physical, bike specific improvements reinforce cyclists’ place on the road.

  5. Ghost Rider

    Steve A — no one said you HAD to do this.

    I’m with rjk on this one.

  6. Robert

    Steve, I can relate to what you are saying. It is easy to have projects that are meant to help people end up going in the wrong direction. For example, most bike paths in my area use wooden bridges. Many of the cyclists from my work who take the bike paths have ended up badly injured or bruised since they can be very slippery. Here is a good link about a bad design on a bike path….James Kunstler tells it how it is:

    However, despite some of the negatives, there are several examples of bike trails done right. I definitely wouldn’t stop all funding on the assumption that the project will be a disaster. If that were the case, nothing would get done. However, I’d rather see the federal government work on balancing the budget than handing out money…but that is another topic for another forum….

  7. rjk

    I live in Overland Park, KS. Not exactly the most bike friendly suburb of Kansas City. With each “Road Improvement” project the city undertakes, it becomes more unfriendly. Yes, these projects are funded by our tax dollars. I’m not looking for more paths, but I’d sure like to see more on street improvements that make my commute to and from work safer. I’d like to see the city planners “consider” pedestrians and cyclists when making these updates. How about making the the street lights activated by bikes?

    As I said earlier, I’d like to see road improvement projects that include cyclists as legitimate users of the road.

  8. Raiyn

    The most aggravating thing about the local road improvements is that whoever wrote the standards for our bike lanes here in St. Pete. For example the southbound intersection of 28th St. St. N and 25th Ave. N. (streetview will come up facing North – rotate West to South to see what I’m talking about) Instead of logically maintaining a “lane” the stripe maintains a constant distance from the curb as it angles into the cross street and does likewise exiting the intersection.
    We supposedly have someone from the bicycle community guiding this process, but even the monkey who’s been roaming Pinellas County knows better than this. I’m all for more facilities, but damn it I want someone with a BRAIN installing them. Until then I’ll stick to my quieter parallel, but non bike-laned routes.

  9. Steve A

    I wrote a very long comment, which I decided would not help this discussion. I will email a copy of it upon request to averill1 at

    Examples that make it more difficult to ride include my blog filed under “bike lane.” The list could go on. The worst is the North Tarrant Parkway bike lane. It’s scary – mostly used by motorists as an auxiliary passing lane.

    I don’t care if drivers consider me legitimate. They just need to follow the law. I’ll do the same. Failure in this regard by people on bikes generates a lot of the hostility. Drivers that don’t follow the law are, by definition, outlaws.

    I’ve ridden 6000 miles this year. My blog makes it clear I don’t do it because I HAVE to. My commute problems RARELY involve motorists. In no case would facilities have obviated any motorist hostility I DID encounter. Nearby facilities may, on the other hand, have provoked hostility.

    I’d like to see examples of bike trails done right. I imagine rjk would like to see some as well. It might counter the Warrington examples. BTW, while rjk said “street lights,” I think he meant traffic lights activated by bikes. I’d love to see such projects. I don’t think that FTA funding is FOR such projects.

    Which takes us full circle to my original comment, except I’ll add “other than I pay taxes too.”

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