Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wisconsin has Bicycle Funding Anemia

Wisconsin's Democratic governor Jim Doyle used a line-item veto to reduce $19.1 million in funding set aside for biking and pedestrian projects in the state budget to a mere $2.7 million. The Lost Albatross nails it:

For all the lip-service our public officials seem to pay to our bike and pedestrian friendly culture, more often it would appear that regular citizens are the ones who do the most to promote and sustain the culture.

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin responded to the governor's veto in a press release (a PDF):

"Wisconsin could be the national leader in biking and pedestrian facilities,” [executive director Jack] Hirt explained. Instead, Wisconsin ranks near the bottom in use of federal transportation dollars for bike and pedestrian purposes. “We want to convince the governor to work with us to make Wisconsin a better place to bicycle,” Hirt said.

Good luck Jack, because we're right at the bottom. According to a 2006 interview with his immediate predecessor:

'We've always ranked in the bottom five states nationally in funding transportation enhancements,' says Dar Ward, [former] executive director for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. 'It's getting worse.'

Apparently, Ward was right.

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