Please read to bottom of article for latest update!
According to a recent email from the League of American Bicyclists reported that AASHTO, apparently the voice of transportation as long as you drive a car, released a letter and supplemental document weakening their guidance on accommodating cyclists and pedestrians. In a nutshell their letter asks that
the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) withdraw their guidance on the meaning of “due consideration” of bicyclists and pedestrians to make it easier for states to ignore the needs of non-motorized travelers. AASHTO prefers the weaker “consider where appropriate” to allow states to avoid having to justify failure to accommodate bicycling and walking.
In a time when energy prices are rising, we are facing global climate change, and the country is facing an obesity crisis, what are they thinking? They are supposed to be a “nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states”, so what do they have to gain from letting States off the hook when it comes to building infrastructure that supports ALL infrastructure users.
Updated 4/22/2011 3:43PM EDT:
AASHTO has released a new letter that withdraws their request to have the Bicycle and Pedestrian guidance altered. The letter more full describes the reasoning of the request and how the request came to be a part of the submittal to the USDOT’s request for comments process, but notes that the AASHTO Board of Directors will consider the topic at its October meeting. Bike Portland has a full copy of the letter in it’s coverage.
Independently, in a call with the Alliance for Biking and Walking on Thursday April 21 it was indicated that USDOT was not likely to consider the request at this point, since the comments process underway does not include the guidance in question.