Keeping the silent sports community informed and self propelled.
Four years ago, the Twin Cities, Sheboygan County, Wis., each received $25 million from the federal government to construct nonmotorized transportation infrastructure -- namely pedestrian and bicycle trails, lanes and sidewalks.
Now the Federal Highway Administration released a report late last month concluding that the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) successfully encouraged more people to bike, walk and use public transit. Specifically, the result included:
• An estimated 16 million miles were walked or bicycled that would have otherwise been driven in 2010, and an estimated 32 million driving miles were averted between 2007 and 2010
• Mode share increases in the pilot communities to bicycling and walking and away from driving from 2007 to 2010 outpaced the national average from 2001 to 2008. For the communities in sum, bicycling mode share increased 36 percent, walking mode share increased 14 percent, and driving mode share decreased 3 percent between 2007 and 2010.
In the Twin Cities, according to the report, the NTPP program became known as Bike/Walk Twin Cities, run by St. Paul-based Transit for Livable Cities. The program was able to unite a number of municipalities and agencies around new bicycle and pedestrian plans.
BWTC installed bicycle boulevards, bike lanes, a bike sharing program, sharrows and "Bicycle May Use Full Lane" signs. Consequently, the efforts helped boost bicycling and walking counts by 33 percent and 17 percent respectively.
In Wisconsin's Sheboygan County, the NTPP was administered by a 30-member committee. The outcome included road improvements, safety programs and a "recycle a bicycle" program run by at-risk youth. In all, bicycling counts rose by 22.7 percent and walking increased 11.7 percent throughout the county.