WASHINGTON — The Obama administration doubled transportation spending on bicycling and walking last year as it sought to coax Americans out of their cars, according to a Federal Highway Administration report released yesterday.
Spending on such projects rose from less than $600 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2009. Twenty years ago, the federal government was spending only $6 million.
The spending on biking and walking projects was scheduled to rise last year anyway, but the administration boosted it with $400 million set aside under the economic recovery program.
In March, Obama’s transportation secretary announced a policy change that gives biking and walking projects the same importance as autos in transportation planning and the selection of projects for federal funds.