Thanks, primarily, to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Obama Administration more than doubled our Federal spending on pedestrian and bike infrastructure projects in 2009, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. Total federal spending on such projects reached $1.19 billion in ’09, up 120% from ’08, according to a chart published by DOT. The money helped finance 3,010 projects, up from 1,817 in ’08. Specifically, the ARRA accounted 34% of the spending, or $405.3 million during fiscal 2009, which ended Sept. 30., with the balance coming from existing federal programs.
This increased influx will hopefully continue, as it will be the key to supporting a policy statement released March 15 by the DOT reflects the Department’s “support for the development of fully integrated active transportation networks”, such as multi-use paths & bridges, with the same urgency & importance as motorized transportation infrastructure.
Expanding public access to safe close to home recreation activities like walking and bicycling activities is a critical step in linking active recreation and transportation in a way that reaches a wide range of our community members for an even wider variety of needs & abilities. We’re excited to see the progress that has been made, and look forward to seeing how it develops here in Southern CT.
(Photo courtesy of Don Shall)