Spurred by legislation to encourage walking and bicycling, the federal government has spent billions since 1992 on projects related to pedestrian and bicycle transportation, but the implementation of those projects has varied by region, population level, and socioeconomic factors, according to this first analysis of the patterns of such federal funding. This paper appears in a supplement to the Journal of Public Health Policy regarding the 2008 Active Living Research Conference.
The study relies on Federal Highway Administration data regarding federal spending on projects identified by states as related to pedestrians and bicycles. It examines that data by year, program type and location, and compares it to county demographic data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- From 1992 to 2004, the federal government obligated $3.17 billion to 10,012 bicycle- and pedestrian-related projects.
- Almost 62 percent of U.S. counties hosted such a project.
- 94 percent of projects improved facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians (such as replacing sidewalks or installing bicycle storage); 4 percent preserved abandoned railways, and 2 percent were safety or education programs.
- Counties with persistent poverty and counties with low educational status (more than a quarter of adult residents lacked a high school diploma), were less likely to implement these projects. Poorly-educated counties also received less funding per capita than counties with higher educational attainment.
- Counties in the Northeast were more likely to implement a project than those in the South or Central regions; however, per capita spending on projects was higher in the West.
The authors note the underlying federal data is subject to variations in how states identify projects; includes only federal, not total, funding on a project; and does not include adjustments for inflation. But they note the funding of pedestrian and bicycle projects (1.5%of all federal transportation funding) is out of balance with the use of nonmotorized transportation (9.4% of all trips nationally). They also note the funding of fewer projects in areas of poverty and low education, where public health is most problematic. The authors recommend making the links between transportation projects and public health more explicit, and improving planning assistance to underserved communities.
- 1 Translating Research into Public Policy
- 2 Can We Achieve Evidence-Based Policy and Practice on Active Travel?
- 3 Where Different Worlds Collide
- 4 Factors Associated with Federal Transportation Funding for Local Pedestrian and Bicycle Programming and Facilities
- 5 Transit and Health: Mode of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, and Physical Activity
- 6 Effect of Innovative Building Design on Physical Activity
- 7 Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003 to Reduce Childhood Obesity
- 8 Early Impact of the Federally Mandated Local Wellness Policy on Physical Activity in Rural, Low-Income Elementary Schools in Colorado
- 9 Preventing Childhood Obesity through State Policy
- 10 Correlates of Walking to School and Implications for Public Policies
- 11 Sociodemographic, Family, and Environmental Factors Associated with Active Commuting to School Among US Adolescents
- 12 Implementation of Texas Senate Bill 19 to Increase Physical Activity in Elementary Schools
- 13 Disparities in Urban Neighborhood Conditions
- 14 Disparities in Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors Among US Children and Adolescents
RWJF Scholar examines neighborhood-based death rates from opiate-based painkiller overdoses, compared with heroin overdose deaths.
RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Jennifer Bellot writes about losing her grandmother to complications from a medical error.
The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps can be put to use right away to help create a culture of health in your community.
As part of National Public Health Week, PHLR—a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—has been participating in the week by contribut...
Learn how The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is dedicated to building a culture of health in Risa Lavizzo-Mourey's 2014 annual message.
A new paper reports on the proceedings of an unprecedented meeting that brought together diverse leaders from community colleges around the ...
Empathy is the lifeblood of any system of health—it gives us all a shared stake in being healthy and helping others to thrive as well.
Developing small community homes as alternatives to nursing homes, this radical, new national model for skilled nursing care returns control...
Unengaged patients can incur costs of up to 21% higher than patients who are highly engaged in care. This suite of materials from RWJF's AF4...
Team members, grantees, and guests discuss breakthrough ideas that will allow us to move toward solving challenges in health care.
Hilary Levey Friedman, author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, writes about youth sports.
Study: More ‘Masculine’ and ‘Feminine’ Youth at Higher Risk for Cancer-risk Behaviors - Study: Casual Marijuana Use Can Cause Dangerous Chan...