Op-Ed: How Secretary Chao Can Save Lives in Active Communities

Posted 02/13/17 by Amy Kapp in Policy

Seattle's first downtown protected bike lane, opened in September 2014 | Photo courtesy Seattle Department of Transportation | CC by 2.0

Last week, in an opinion piece in The Hill, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Senior Vice President of Policy, Kevin Mills, weighed in on the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao with a specific call to action: Focus on pedestrians and bicyclists in efforts to create a safer transportation system.

In an email to staff sent immediately following her confirmation, Secretary Chao named safety as one of her top priorities, stating that she “look(s) forward to working … to ensure that the safety and efficiency of our country’s transportation systems are second to none."

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao | Photo courtesy J Curnow | CC BY-NC 2.0

Mills has put forth several solutions that could be effective in decreasing fatalities among bicyclists and pedestrians and achieving this overall vision, including increased investments in active transportation infrastructure.

Mills writes:

"To provide for pedestrian and bicyclist safety, Secretary Chao will need to take specific action. [She] should redouble efforts to provide safe walking and biking routes that work for everyone, including those who cannot drive like the young, the elderly and people with disabilities. Trails, sidewalks and complete streets do more than keep people safe—they align with other Trump administration priorities by providing a high return on investment in terms of mobility, economic development and public health."

Click here to read Kevin Mills' Feb. 9 Op-Ed, "How Secretary Chao Can Save Lives in Active Communities," in its entirety.

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