History of Bike Walk Twin Cities and the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program History of Bike Walk Twin Cities and the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program

In the 2005 federal Transportation funding bill -- Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) -- Congress established a pilot program to demonstrate the extent to which bicycling and walking could carry a significant part of the transportation load, and represent a major portion of the transportation solution.

Each of the four pilot sites -- Minneapolis and its surrounding communities; Columbia, MO; Marin County, CA; Sheboygan County, WI -- has $22 million to invest in planning, infrastructure, and public education. The four communities will also study the impact of these investments on traffic congestion, energy use, health, and the environment.

Transit for Livable Communities was designated to administer the Bike Walk Twin Cities initiative for Minneapolis and its neighboring communities, which include: Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Edina, Falcon Heights, Fridley, Golden Valley, Lauderdale, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Fort Snelling State Park, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Roseville, St. Anthony, St. Louis Park, and St. Paul.

Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, championed the inclusion of this pilot program in the federal legislation. He also successfully advocated for the $600 million Safe Routes to Schools Program, which promotes bicycling and walking to school in all 50 states.