- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Federal proposal aids cyclists, pedestrians

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is proposing new rules regarding bicycle and pedestrian projects, including those near rail/bus stations.

The proposed rules were released for public comment on Friday, a few days after Transportation for America released a report urging, among other things, safer roads for pedestrians and bicyclists.

DC.StreetsBlog.org on Monday gave its take on the FTA proposal: “The FTA’s new rules, released for public comment on Friday, replace the previous definition of the so-called ‘structural envelope’ surrounding a transit station.

“In the past, regulators had tended to use 1,500 feet as the distance which ‘most people can be expected to safely and conveniently walk to use the transit service.’ But the Obama administration, stating plainly that the current radius is ‘too short,’ has proposed expanding it to a half-mile for pedestrian improvements and three miles for bicycle projects.

“In its explanation of the new proposal, the FTA wrote:

” ‘The most successful and useful public transportation systems have safe and convenient pedestrian access and provide comfortable waiting areas, all of which encourage greater use. …

” ‘Distances beyond the walkshed of public transportation stops and stations may in fact be within the range of a short bicycle trip. Providing secure parking and other amenities for bicycles and cyclists at public transportation stops or stations can be less expensive than providing parking for automobiles.’ ”

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