Laashtoet Your Voice Be Heard – Take Action Now!

Last week, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a letter and supplemental document, which asked the US Department of Transportation to weaken their guidance on accommodating bicyclists and pedestrians. The supplemental document, submitted as part of a formal review of regulations, 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.

This request is misguided. At a time when cities are building entire bicycling networks for the cost of one mile of urban four-lane freeway, bike projects are putting people to work, and benefiting business, this is not the time to move backwards. With 23 states embracing Complete Streets (and 39 Micigan policies), AASHTO should be a leading voice in shaping holistic and comprehensive transportation systems, not resisting them. In fact, AASHTO’s own 12 year-old Bicycle Guide, due to be up dated this year, says that bicyclists and pedestrians can be expected on any roadway they are legally allowed to operate and therefore should be accommodated.

Please take a minute to thank the Michigan Department of Transportation for their continued leadership in helping to make Michigan roads safe for all users, including bicyclists, and encourage MDOT Director Kirk Steudle to contact AASHTO President Susan Martinovich, to let her know that Michigan bicyclists disagree with the recommendation.  You are encouraged to personalize the pre drafted message.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.