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A survey sponsored by America Bikes finds that support for federal funding for sidewalks and bikeways was consistently high among all surveyed demographics

x Read more about current issues with funding for trails and greenways


Survey finds most Americans support funding for bicycling and walking

graph showing support for funding

Survey results: 83% of respondents support Bike/ped funding

From America Bikes


The results of a new survey showed that 83% of respondents support maintaining or growing federal funding for sidewalks, bikeways, and bike paths.

The survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates asked participants to estimate what percentage of federal transportation funding is currently spent on sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike paths. Participants were then were asked to say what percentage of transportation funds should be spent on biking and walking infrastructure.

Respondents then learned that less than 2% of transportation funding goes to sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike paths; 17% is used for public transportation; and 80% is used for roads and highways. They were then asked if the percentage that goes to biking and walking should increase, decrease, or stay about the same.

In every category of people interviewed, Americans clearly support federal funding for biking and walking infrastructure:

• Political affiliation does not diminish support for biking and walking; 80% of Republican respondents and 88% of Democrats think Congress should maintain or increase federal funding for these programs.

• While the 18- to 29-year-old group supports continuing or increasing biking and walking funds at 91%, support among those over 50 was still very high at 78%.

• African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic Americans all support sustained or increased funding for biking and walking.

• Urban, rural, and suburban residents all support federal funding for biking and walking.

• Both men and women support funds for biking and walking.

• Americans of all income and education levels say that federal transportation funds should benefit biking and walking.

• 47% said that they would like funding for sidewalks and bikeways to increase a little or increase a lot.

• 36% said they would like funding for sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike paths to remain at current levels.

• No more than 18% of respondents said funding should decrease. Even in this group, for every one who said funding should decrease, two respondents said funding should increase.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon expressed his support for the federal programs: “Especially as gas prices increase, Americans want options that help them save money, spend time with their families, and burn calories instead of carbon. I hope that these new data will remind my colleagues that communities large and small support fully funding sidewalks, bike lanes, and other improvements to make biking and walking safer and more convenient.”

photo of men in suits at Capitol building

Congressman Tom Petri speaks at the America Bikes event at the
U.S. Capitol on May 9, 2012 (Photo: Chris Eichler, America Bikes)

Congressman Tom Petri of Wisconsin, a longtime champion of the Recreational Trails Program, stated: “As we continue work on transportation legislation in the House, we should be careful to produce a balanced program which includes sidewalks, bike lanes and bike paths. The transportation and health benefits of biking and walking are important, and it would be a mistake to reverse the progress we have already made there.”

America Bikes provided their interpretation of the survey results: "Funding for the street improvements that make biking and walking more accessible and safe are popular with voters, putting policymakers who hope to eliminate biking and walking programs at odds with a majority of the electorate. Rather than proposing to eliminate the tiny percentage of federal transportation funding that makes walking and biking more accessible and safe, Congress should focus on maintaining and strengthening our investments in sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike paths."

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International using telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults from March 22-25, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.6 percentage points.

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x Read more about current funding for trails, parks, outdoor recreation, and federal land management on the American Trails website:

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