All of us are working hard to make our neighborhoods safer for kids and families to walk and bike to and from the places they need to go. But now, we need your help to ensure that the health and safety of our loved ones does not take a back seat to automobile passengers, simply because they chose active transportation over driving. Please join us in telling the U.S. Department of Transportation that states should be held accountable for all road users, including bicyclists and pedestrians.
As part of MAP-21, the surface transportation law that funds our roads and transit systems, Congress required states, for the first time, to set performance targets in a number of areas, including safety. Because bicycle and pedestrian fatalities have been rising—now making up more than 16 percent of all traffic deaths, while at the same time just 0.4 percent of federal safety funding has been utilized by states for that purpose— LSA and partners all over the country have been pushing for one of those targets to be focused specifically on reducing bicycle and pedestrian deaths.
Unfortunately, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released its proposed rule on how the federal government will implement the safety performance measure, and it only asks states to set a target for overall fatalities and serious injuries. Unless we can convince USDOT to add a specific target for bicycle and pedestrian deaths and injuries, states will almost certainly continue to spend practically none of their safety funds on making our streets safer for people to bicycle and walk. In addition, the rule also would allow states to practically ignore their own targets. States would only have to meet half of their safety targets, which will allow deaths to continue to rise without penalty.
Please take just a few minutes to send a message to the US Department of Transportation to ask them to:
- Require states to set safety performance measures specific to bicycling and walking.
- Make the performance targets meaningful, by requiring states to make progress on all their targets.
If we can generate thousands of comments from people around the country who simply want to be safe while walking and bicycling, we may prevail in this common-sense ask. Please also pass this message along to your friends and family members and ask them to comment too.
And if you can spare another two minutes, please also ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act, which would accomplish the same goal if USDOT chooses not to hear your voice.
(Note: We received this alert from the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and are posting it here on the LSA website because it’s incredibly important!)