Pete Buttigieg rewards cities that promote wider sidewalks, cycling and public transit

You will get out of your car and enjoy it, by order of the government. That’s the message Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will deliver on Monday when billions of dollars are made available through his department’s new Safe Streets & Roads for All program for cities that encourage people to ditch their homes. motor vehicles for alternative modes of transport. For all time.

The Biden administration is directing $5 billion in federal aid to communities that are building bike lanes and wider sidewalks while pushing commuters to public transit and cycling as an alternative to driving.

AP reports that the goal will be to provide a direct injection of federal money to communities that are committed to promoting the safety of multiple users of a roadway, especially pedestrians and cyclists.

The argument is that too many people die in car accidents for this mode of transport to be sustainable and that alternatives must be sought – and rewarded with taxpayers’ money.

“We are facing a national crisis of deaths and serious injuries on our roads, and these tragedies are preventable – so as a nation we must work urgently and collaboratively to save lives,” Buttigieg said. He said the money will “help communities large and small take action to protect all Americans on our roads.”

“We have become far too accustomed to the loss of life and serious injuries that occur on our roads,” he observed.

File/Cyclists ride along Market Street on May 9, 2013 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has installed a real-time automated bicycle counter, also known as a bicycle barometer, on Market Street that will display daily and annual counts. (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

Previewing the data to come, Steven Cliff, the acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at an event last week that the final numbers would show “alarming” increases for the whole of 2021. , according to the AP report.

Road deaths account for approximately 95% of all transportation deaths in the United States, or more than 38,000 in 2020. In 2021, data released to date has already shown that the number of road deaths in United States reached 31,720 in the third quarter, the highest nine-month period since 2006.

Before 2020, the number of road deaths in the United States had fallen for three consecutive years.

The ministry’s effort is part of a new national strategy, launched in January, to stem the record rise in road deaths through a “safe system” approach that promotes better road design, limits lower speed limits and stricter car safety regulations.

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