Ask Congress to pass a 1 sentence bill to protect ALL roadway users
Pittsburgh’s population is back on the rise, and as more Pittsburghers realize the benefits of car-free commuting our city rises to #8 in the US for people who walk, bike or take transit to work. However, the portion of our population that bikes and walks is not accounted for, or benefited by, the safety statistics recorded by the Federal Department of Transportation or Federal Highway Administration.
These federal agencies must realize that transportation happens by means other than in automobiles or on highways. People bike to the store, walk to the bus stop or into the restaurant from their car, and their safety must be accounted for in federal transportation statistics.
HR 3494/S1708, The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act, will require the U.S. Department of Transportation to set specific safety targets for ALL roadway users — not just motorists, but pedestrians and bicyclists, too.
Between 2010 and 2011 the overall number of roadway deaths dropped by 2 percent — but the number of bicyclists killed increased by 9 percent, while pedestrians increased by 3 percent. These aren’t just statistics on a page. These are our friends and neighbors, and their safety should not be ignored in the US Department of Transportation’s safety statistics.
While people who walk and bike make up 16 percent of roadway fatalities, less than 1 percent of safety funding is directed to infrastructure that would protect those biking and walking.
This legislation gives the US DOT the flexibility to determine the best method to meet these safety measures, and calls on our leaders to reduce the number of people biking and walking who are killed or injured on our streets every year.
This bill clearly states that the lives of all roadway users are important — and creates accountability toward ending needless deaths.
Without it, people who bike and walk will remain in the blindspot of our transportation system.
BikePGH’s Better Bikeways Vision stresses that Pittsburgh’s bike routes must be interconnected, safe, attractive, and comfortable in order to appeal to people of all ages, especially those who are interested in riding a bike but concerned for their safety. Learn more about BikePGH’s Better Bikeways Vision.