Posted by: mauibicyclingleague | April 10, 2014

Report from the HBL conference in Oahu lead by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League for American Bicyclists this week.

Reported by Lee Chamberlain, lee@pedegomaui.com

I just returned from the HBL conference in Oahu lead by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League for American Bicyclists this week.
There I learned that Hawaii ranks # 8 in Pedestrian fatalities per hundred thousand population. Those statistics alone speak to the need for change to our current roads and pathways. Improving Bicycle and Pedestrian walkways can dramatically change these facts and can benefit the residents and visitors of Maui. This has been accomplished and is evident in many other states which don’t have close the lure that Hawaii has to visitors and residents alike.
The conference focus was on educating the attendee’s about funding sources for improved Bicycle and Pedestrian path ways. Federal and State funding for such projects originate from the Federal Transportation Bill titled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) which retains funding for these types of programs. The fund is 9.6 Billion dollars nationally. Each state is allocated part of this amount.
The conference presenters informed us that Hawaii DOT has not used any of the funds they have received for MAP-21 and the program ends in September 2014.
Here is a link for an overview of MAP-21 funding…..http://www.americabikes.org/map_21_analysis#funding.
Also an additional link to Bicycle and Pedestrian Federal Funding Resources List (http://www.advocacyadvance.org/site_images/content/Advocacy_Advance_Federal_Funding_Resource_List1.pdf) for your reference.
Some numbers that came out of the conference for the unspent funding that could be spent on Maui consisted Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Recreational Trails $958,000, Statewide Anywhere $1,315,000.00, Rural Areas $126,000.00 Urban Areas $411,000.00. Surface Transportation Program (STP) 50% Statewide Anywhere Funds $21,200,000, Rural Areas $130,193.00, Urban Areas $2,212,403.00. The competitive grant process to attain these funds require a Metropolitan Planning Organization MPO which Maui does not have.
I am very interested in supporting Progressive change for the better here on Maui and I cannot see any negative result out of improving our current Bicycle and Pedestrian pathways. They are making some great advancements in Oahu on this subject and we should follow suite immediately.
Hawaii is ranked number 35 for Bike friendly states of our nation. The HDOT staff report that monies spent on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) of 7 billion from 2011 to 2014 reveled 83% of the projects completed are without Bicycle & Pedestrian facilities improvements. HRS 264-18 (2007) requires at least 2% of eligible federal funds be spent on establishing multi-use paths, bicycle paths and bicycle lanes and install signage and safety devices along bikeways.
At the conference we learned the Return on Investment ROI for Bike/Walking paths can be huge. An example is the Outer Banks of North Carolina where their spending was responsible for an annual economic impact of $60 million and support for 1,407 jobs in the area. So, a one-time expenditure of $6.7 million spent on the bicycle network results in $60 million a year — an economic return about nine times the original expenditure. (http://www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/download/bikeped_research_eiafulltechreport.pdf)

We are a world destination that can be a better world destination. The funding is there, the need is there, the benefit is there, so it makes sense to use it. What can we do to assist?

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