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New Report: Biking and Walking Up in Federal Pilot Communities
Thanks to the visionary leadership of Congress members like Jim Oberstar, the last federal transportation bill included an innovative idea: the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP).
In a nutshell, the NTPP provided $25 million per year to four communities — Columbia, Missouri; Marin County, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Sheboygan County, Wisconsin — to construct "a network of nonmotorized transportation infrastructure facilities, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian and bicycle trails."
The four-year program was intended to be a demonstration project, gathering data and lessons learned on the best bang for our bucks when it comes to shifting folks' travel patterns from single-occupancy vehicles to biking and walking.
Well, the results are in — and the news is good.
Last week, the Federal Highway Administration released its "Report to the U.S. Congress on the Outcomes of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program." Among the key findings:
- An estimated 16 million miles were walked or bicycled that would have otherwise been driven in 2010, and an estimated 32 million driving miles were averted between 2007 and 2010.
- Counts in the four pilots saw an average increase of 49 percent in the number of bicyclists and a 22 percent increase in the number of pedestrians between 2007 and 2010.
- Mode share increases in the pilot communities to bicycling and walking and away from driving from 2007 to 2010 outpaced the national average from 2001 to 2008. For the communities in sum, bicycling mode share increased 36 percent, walking mode share increased 14 percent, and driving mode share decreased 3 percent between 2007 and 2010.
- The additional nonmotorized trips in the pilot communities in 2010 reduced the economic cost of mortality by an estimated $6.9 million.
- While each pilot community experienced increases in bicycling and walking from 2005 to 2009, fatal bicycle and pedestrian crashes held steady or decreased in all of the communities.
- The pilot communities saved an estimated 22 pounds of CO2 in 2010 per person or a total of 7,701 tons. This is equivalent to saving over 1 gallon of gas per person or nearly 1.7 million gallons from 2007 to 2010.
Click here to read the full report.