A recent report from the Federal Highway Administration shows that small investments can go a long way.
The analysis comes from a pilot program that provided $100 million to four municipalities across the country ($25 million each) to invest in a infrastructure network for non-motorized transportation, (sidewalks and bike paths).
The program built 333 miles of on-street biking and walking routes, 23 off-street facilities and 5,727 bike parking spaces in the four areas. Compare this to the fact that $100 million would only get you five miles of new four-lane highway!
The FHWA report is full of data showing how a small down payment on active transportation can lead — quickly — to dramatic improvements in air quality, traffic levels, and public health. Its why the League is supportive of a multi-modal transportation system and why transportation is a critical asset of vibrant 21st century communities as noted in the League's 21c3 program.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.