Mayors Getting the Message


Over recent months, we have covered the steps being taken by cities to increase cycling, with Paris, Oslo, Madrid & even Los Angeles as examples.

Now it seems that mayors in the USA are getting the message, even in a country which has to have one of the most pro-car cultures in the world. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, in partnership with The Boston University Initiative on Cities, with the support of Citi, has just released the 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors, which details the most pressing needs and policy priorities of mayors in cities across the country.

Specific “big ticket” priority projects: if mayors were the sudden beneficiaries of a large unrestricted capital grant to devote to a specific project, they would invest in mass transit (22%), roads (20%), and water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure (18%).

Modestly-priced priority projects: with a small unrestricted capital grant that they could devote to just one project, mayors would invest in bike and pedestrian infrastructure (20%), parks (19%), roads (15%) and municipal buildings (14%).

Mayors express strong support for improved accessibility for cyclists even if it means sacrificing parking or driving lanes, in addition to naming bike infrastructure as key funding priority.

More than70% of mayors supported the tradeoff favouring improved bike accessibility in their city, even if it comes at the expense of parking and driving lanes. Democratic and Republican mayors differ in their level of support for street designs that favour cyclists over drivers, with 44% of Republican mayors and 81% of Democratic ones endorsing improved bike accessibility.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

The Boston University Initiative on Cities researches, promotes, and advances the adaptive urban leadership strategies and policies necessary to support cities as dynamic centers of growth and positive development in the 21st century.


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