Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Nominee for US Department of Transportation

President Obama recently nominated Charlotte, NC mayor Anthony Foxx to replace DOT Secretary LaHood. Sec. LaHood has been a great friend to cyclists. BikePortland noted that Mayor Foxx has supported bike infrastructure and events in Charlotte:
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx
Photo: Weldon Weaver
As for bicycling, Foxx has actively supported it. He's held an annual "Bike to Breakfast" eventand he hops on a road bike to help launch "Bike Charlotte," an annual cycling promotional campaign. When Charlotte launched their bike share system last summer, Foxx grinned for the local media during the inaugural ride.

Rob Sadowsky, executive director of Portland's Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) said this evening that he's "very excited to have a Secretary that likes to bike, understands the need for a balanced transportation system and understands urban land use."

As a bike town, Charlotte isn't a major bright spot; but they appear to be on the rise. They are currently recognized as a "Bronze" level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. The City of Charlotte Bicycle Plan was last updated in 2008. According to the 2012 Benchmarking Report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking, Charlotte ranks 44th (out of 51) in U.S. cities in terms of how many people walk and bike and 23rd in spending per capita on biking and walking projects. The U.S. Census reports that Charlotte has a 0.2% bicycling mode share.
The Alliance for Biking and Walking also published an article about Mayor Foxx, How Obama’s Nominee for Transportation Secretary Stacks Up on Biking & Walking
Launch of Charlotte bike share
Photo: Weldon Weaver
Tobe [Tobe Holmes, a board member at the Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance] reports that during his tenure, Mayor Foxx worked to improve multimodal transportation — and recognized the importance of funding positions within the city’s DOT to focus on biking and walking accessibility.

“During his tenure Mayor Foxx has been supportive of initiatives including an expansion the city’s bike route network, green bike lanes, bike boxes, sidewalk construction projects and other projects to meet bicycle and pedestrian needs,” Tobe said.

Perhaps the Mayor’s most memorable active transportation achievement was his leadership during the installation of the city’s bike sharing system by Charlotte Center City Partners. His understanding of its importance to the transportation network was essential to its launch in advance of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Thanks to WashCycle for the BikePortlabnd link.

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