Active transportation advocates will have an important opportunity under President Obama
to promote their agenda.
What's Next for Trails, Walking and Biking
On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama became the next president of the Unites States of America. With President-elect Obama's policies in mind, RTC would like to share with you our thoughts on the reception active transportation might receive in this next administration's transportation policies.
If we are going to solve our energy problems, we've got to think long-term
It's time that the entire country learn from what's happening right here in Portland with mass transit and bicycle lanes and funding alternative means of transportation. That's the kind of solution we need for America...
—President-Elect Barack Obama
President-Elect Obama has demonstrated his understanding of the role active transportation can play in our metropolitan regions. Further, as a senator, Obama met with bicycling advocates soon after securing the Democratic nomination, indicating a willingness to work with bicycle and pedestrian advocates to address transportation issues in his administration.
In his official energy policy plan, President-Elect Obama refers to a greater prioritization of active transportation, noting that "
we must devote significantly more attention to investments that will make it easier for us to walk, bicycle and access other transportation alternatives."
This new outlook may best be summarized by a quote from a recent Washington Post article: "
[Obama] has adopted the framing increasingly favored by many mayors and urban-policy types—promoting America's cities based on their strengths, not their failings" (emphasis added).
We believe increased bicycling and walking opportunities in America's cities are, indeed, a measure of a community's strength. Advocates will have an important opportunity to position active transportation to play a critical role in nurturing and improving many of the assets President-Elect Obama already recognizes.
But we have to keep pushing! Active transportation has the potential to play an important role in this new administration, revitalizing our communities with the many benefits of walking and biking. We have the chance to bring about a transformation in the role walking and biking play across the country—but only if we seize this opportunity by convincing decision-makers to fight for our goals.
Stay tuned for a direct opportunity to influence the next several years of transportation policy. Not getting RTC's eNews and "Advocacy Corner" e-mails? Sign up now!