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Study: Americans favor federal bike spending

Published May 9, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN) Wednesday May 9 2012 10:47 AM MT—Americans want to maintain or increase funding for biking and working projects, according to a new study funded by the America Bikes advocacy group.

According to the study, 83 percent of Americans support maintaining or growing federal funding for sidewalks, bike lanes and bike paths. Currently less than 2 percent of federal transportation dollars are spent on projects like that.

The study was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults in the United States by telephone. According to PSRAI, the margin of error for the weighted results is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

The survey began by asking respondents to estimate the amount of current federal spending on biking and walking projects. About a quarter correctly guessed between 1 and 2 percent. However 28 percent estimated less than 1 percent and 41 percent guessed more than 2 percent. America Bikes said that revealed a "need gap" between what Americans perceive is being spent and what is actually being spent.

A House and Senate conference committee begins meeting this month to reconcile differences between their transportation bills passed earlier this year. Each chamber's bills would reduce spending on bike projects.

"As Congress continues to consider reauthorization of federal surface transportation investments, legislators should avoid eliminating key funding for sidewalks and bikeways at a time when public opinion shows broad support for maintaining — or broadening — those programs," a Bikes Belong statement concluded.

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