Just in time for National Bike to School Day, new survey results reveal overwhelming support for biking and walking, with more than 80 percent of Americans favoring increased or maintained federal funding for sidewalks and bike lanes.
The national survey, performed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, asked 1,003 adults in the United States about their opinions on federal funding for sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike paths. The results were astounding — and bipartisan:
- 83 percent of all respondents support maintaining or growing the federal funding streams that pay for sidewalks, bikeways, and bike paths.
- 80 percent of Republican respondents and 88 percent of Democrat respondents think Congress should maintain or increase federal funds for biking and walking.
- 91 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 support continuing or increasing biking and walking funds.
These results add critical perspective to a pressing national debate about transportation, as members of Congress conference to develop a consensus transportation bill — and some propose eliminating dedicated funding for biking and walking.
“Americans overwhelmingly support federal funding for sidewalks and bikeways, and any controversy over this is an inside-the-Beltway issue,” said Caron Whitaker, campaign director of America Bikes. “As more people choose to bike and walk for transportation, Americans want their communities to build the sidewalks, crosswalks, and bikeways that keep everyone safe. Cutting programs such as Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to School, and Recreational Trails doesn’t save money; it just makes it harder for local governments to make their streets safer and more accessible for children and adults.”
Members of Congress added their support , as well.
Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS): “It is important that communities continue to have access to federal resources to implement transportation improvements such as biking and pedestrian infrastructure that are meaningful to public safety, economic development and quality of life at the local level.”
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD): “Americans support federal investments that make biking and walking safer. These are essential investments in the quality and safety of our national transportation infrastructure. I was proud of the work I did with Senator Cochran to ensure that local governments’ access to bike, pedestrian, and trail funding was maintained in the transportation bill that passed the Senate. This bill is so critical to putting millions of Americans to work on infrastructure projects that will improve U.S. economic competitiveness, travel safety, and energy independence.”
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR): “This polling data clearly shows Americans want transportation options. Especially as gas prices increase, Americans want options that help them save money, spend time with their families, and burn calories instead of carbon. I hope that this new data will remind my colleagues that communities large and small support fully funding sidewalks, bike lanes, and other improvements to make biking and walking safer and more convenient.”
Representative Tom Petri (R-WI): “As we continue work on transportation legislation in the House, we should be careful to produce a balanced program which includes sidewalks, bike lanes and bike paths. The transportation and health benefits of biking and walking are important, and it would be a mistake to reverse the progress we have already made there.”
Visit America Bikes for survey data and the full report. Stay tuned for pictures from the press conference this afternoon!
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.