Starting this week, we have an opportunity to voice our support for bicycling as a statewide priority. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is holding a series of public meetings in the run up to creating their long range financing plan. This plan is going to dictate whether we continue on the 20th-century path of building ever more roads and bridges, or if we are going to invest in a balanced, multi-modal system. Your voice is going to make the difference.
You can see the schedule here to find a meeting near you (they are being held all over the state). While there are a few points we are listing below, we suggest the number one comment you can make is: Invest in a system that moves people, not cars.
Some other specific points could be:
- Achieving the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas reduction goals depends on encouraging more biking and walking.
- MassDOT needs to support healthier communities, since over one-fifth of our population is obese, as is one out of ten children.
- Investing in biking and walking is the smarter choice; we just can’t afford to keep building wider roads.
- Give the people what they want! Polls across the country have shown that people want to bike more often, but they think the roads are too dangerous.
MassDOT has been a national leader over the past several years in their commitment to a multi-modal system; we need to thank them for their work so far, and push them to go even further. Bringing down unnecessary overpasses, adding bike facilities on bridges, and promoting Complete Streets have all been great accomplishments. But if we want to see complete networks of bicycle facilities in our lifetimes, the state needs to go even further. Your voice is needed to do that.