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Transportation Secretary Mary Peters Responds

by Warren T

On August 15th, Secretary of Transportation, Mary E. Peters, made comments on PBS News Hour with Jim Leher, that funding of bicycling facilities was an example of inappropriate, non-transportation use of the federal gasoline tax. We urged you to send your comments to Ms. Peters. I wrote a polite, but pointed comment to Ms. Peters via the link that The League of American Bicyclists provided and this morning received the following response:

Dept Trans

THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20590

October 4, 2007

Thank you for your e-mail about the importance of bicycling and walking as a form of transportation. I share your interest in a safe, efficient multimodal transportation system.

Your e-mail discussed comments I made during a recent interview regarding the importance of effectively prioritizing major transportation spending decisions. These comments were in no way intended as an indictment of bicycle and pedestrian investments broadly. Rather, they were part of a much larger critique of the processes by which investment decisions are increasingly being made at the Federal level. Too often, political influence and power are guiding transportation spending priorities, instead of merit, competition, data, and analysis.

The U.S. Department of Transportation believes that bicyclists and pedestrians are legitimate and welcome users of our Nation’s transportation system. They are a healthy part of the solution to congestion in our urban areas. We also believe that States, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit agencies are in the best position to understand the unique needs of their own communities, which is why we have continued to strongly support broad eligibility under the Federal-aid program for a diverse mix of transportation investments, including bicycle and pedestrian transportation facilities.

Programs that improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians arc also eligible for Federal safety dollars. Although the number of bicyclist and pedestrian injuries and fatalities has dropped by 10 percent since 1994, fatalities have increased in the last 2 years, and this is not acceptable.

Thank you again for voicing your opinion. I hope to continue to work with bicycling and pedestrian advocates as we face the challenges of meeting our country’s changing transportation needs.

Sincerely yours,

Mary E. Peters

 
Burley nomad 229

11 Responses to “Transportation Secretary Mary Peters Responds”

  1. Russ Roca says:

    uh….that was a long winded way of saying nothing in particular

  2. Jerome says:

    got one of those, too, and also marveled at the emptiness

    found the from address to be somewhat revealing….

    Bicyclistbox@dot.gov

    instead of putting bicyclists in a box, how about seeing their “merit” and enabling their use all over the “free speech zone” that thankfully still stretches from sea to shining sea

    we gladly invest our effort and joy to compensate for your subsidized profligate waste!

  3. SuperCommuter says:

    Spellig errors in an official letter from a federal secretary? Apparently none of us are improtant enough merit a proof read.

    efficient mullimodal transportation
    influence and power arc guiding

    Ugh.

  4. SuperCommuter says:

    Spelling errors in an official letter from the federal government? Apparently we don’t even warrant a proof read.

    efficient mullimodal transportation
    influence and power arc guiding

    Ugh.

  5. Bob says:

    HERE’S A THOUGHT…MAYBE THE FEDERAL DOLLARS THAT ARE EARMARKED FOR BIKE SAFETY CLASSES SHOULD BE SPENT ON A MANDATORY CLASS FOR MOTORISTS. TEACH MOTORISTS ABOUT THE HAZARDS THAT WE FACE DAY IN AND DAY OUT. LIKE THE REASONS WE DON’T RIDE IN THE GUTTER, A DEBRIS FILLED BIKE LANE, ON A DEBRIS FILLED SHOULDER, NEXT TO PARKED CARS. WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO GIVE US SPACE. REMIND THEM OF THE GREAT RESPONSIBILITY THAT COMES WITH OPERATING A 3000 POUND VEHICLE.

  6. Warren T says:

    efficient mullimodal transportation
    influence and power arc guiding

    Okay, I’ll fix it. The problem was actually the conversion from PDF to TXT. Sorry. [blushes and hangs head in shame...]

  7. SuperCommuter says:

    No biggie Warren – I just thought they had sent you a letter with typos!

  8. Fritz says:

    Just a quick note that if you like this article, please hit the Digg button at the top of the article.

  9. [...] [by Adam on 10/05/07]: Commute by Bike has posted the same form letter, and you’ll find some insightful comments below the post. Powered by Gregarious (42) Share [...]

  10. Joe says:

    Thats a long winded way of saying that the Feds don’t really care and it’s a states issue. The Governor’s of course would say that they need the Fed’s dollars and help. Pass the buck.

  11. Ben says:

    Is that political influence a dig against democracy? Republicans sure don’t have any interest in that, considering the fact that they stole the 2000 and 2004 elections.

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