More Tax Dollars for Neighborhoods Where Walking, Biking,Public Transit Is 'A Way of Life'

By Susan Jones | December 10, 2013 | 9:30 AM EST

A bicyclist commutes through downtown Boston. (AP File Photo)

( - Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency planned to be in St. Louis Tuesday to award $29,623 to an environmental group that promotes a culture of walking and bicycling instead of driving.

"Trailnet advocates for creating neighborhoods where walking, biking and taking public transit is a way of life," the EPA news release said.

EPA says Trailnet’s Neighborhood Greenways St. Louis project will prevent and reduce pollution, help with watershed management, and reduce rates of obesity and asthma by making it possible for more people to walk or bike to their destinations.

Trailnet is getting the money from EPA's Environmental Justice Grant Program, which allows community groups to "develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in low-income, minority and tribal communities overburdened by harmful pollution."

According to Trailnet's website, people "value" biking and walking; people who bike tend to make shorter, more frequent trips to local stores and restaurants, spending more money overall; people traveling on foot and by bike have more opportunities to talk to neighbors, make spontaneous stops at stores, and meander through parks on their route; people are safer when there's more space on the street for bikers and walkers; and with safer streets, people who can't or don't want to drive have more options for getting to school, work, stores, or wherever they may need to go.

As reported four years ago, President Obama's first Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was a champion of using federal tax dollars to get people out of their cars and onto bicycles, walking paths or commuter transit.

In an appearance at the National Press Club in May 2009, LaHood plugged the idea of "creating opportunities for people to get out of their cars--and we're working with the secretary of HUD, Shaun Donovan, on opportunities for housing, walking paths, biking paths.” He described his vision as "livable communities.”

"Is this an effort to make driving more torturous and to coerce people out of their cars?” LaHood was asked at the event.

LaHood answered: “It is a way to coerce people out of their cars."

Also See:

Obama’s Transportation Secretary Says He Wants to ‘Coerce People Out of Their Cars’

Terry Jeffrey: The Conspiracy Against the Car

DOT to Spend $1.8 Million to Encourage Kids to Walk, Bike to School