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Nation’s Top Highway Official Reports On Bicycle Transportation Progress At Earth Day Bike-In Rally

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Kenneth R. Wykle

Nation’s Top Highway Official Reports On Bicycle Transportation Progress At Earth Day Bike-In Rally

Federal Highway Administration
April 22, 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 22, 1999
Contact: Virginia Miller
Tel: (202) 366-0660
FHWA 27-99

Injuries to bicyclists are down by 15 percent and bicycle use is up by 89 percent, according to a five-year U.S. Department of Transportation status report released today by Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle at the Washington (D.C.) Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) Earth Day Bike-In rally at Freedom Plaza.

"This is good news for the country, underscoring once again President Clinton’s commitment to safety as the highest transportation priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater. "President Clinton recently said that now is not a time to rest but to build, and we must continue efforts, through effective partnerships, to reduce injuries and save lives of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians."

Wykle also announced that detailed guidance for promoting biking and walking activities was sent earlier in the year to all Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) state offices. This guidance outlines potential uses for federal funds to promote biking and walking. Federal funding for bike and pedestrian programs has increased significantly from $6 million in 1990 to $238 million in 1997.

"We are committed to helping ensure that every transportation agency makes accommodations for bicycling and walking a routine part of their planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance activities," said Wykle. "Bicycling and walking will be important in our transportation system in the new millennium."

These results are an update of the landmark National Bicycling and Walking Study (NBWS), which was delivered to Congress five years ago today. The 1994 report presented federal, state and local action plans for increasing bicycling and walking in America.

The five-year update released today also indicates that injuries to pedestrians have declined by 18 percent and that walking has increased by 13 percent. The report indicates that fatal crashes involving pedestrians have declined by 6 percent and that the number of fatalities among bicyclists in crashes with motor vehicles has decreased only slightly.

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