Well, the sad truth is, it could have a lot to do with the lifestyles of the state transportation officials themselves. Project for Public Spaces recently looked at where all the state DOT headquarters in America are located, and they found that a lot of these workplaces are accessible only by car.
PPS’s Mark Plotz offers this explanation:
It isn’t hard to imagine that, deep within the bowels of the state DOT, there are people who’ve never ridden transit, who’ve never walked to lunch, who live a suburban lifestyle, who cannot imagine their children walking to school, and who haven’t ridden a bike since they passed their driving test. Should it be a surprise to us that driving is the first thing the engineer or planner thinks about when he or she sits down to review a plan for a bridge, an intersection, a corridor, or a roadway “improvement”?
We decided to have some fun with Walkscore and state DOT headquarters. We found the address for each state headquarters office and found that the average walkability rating for state DOT headquarters offices is a paltry 67.4. As any high school student can tell you, that’s a barely-passing “D” grade.
To go along with the above slideshow, PPS made this awesome PDF that shows the Walkscore of every state DOT HQ in the country. Is your state transportation bureaucracy “walking the walk,” so to speak?
Elsewhere on the Network today: The Missouri Bike Federation reports that cycling is a billion dollar industry in its home state. The City Fix outlines a few of the many, many ways transportation affects health outcomes. And Stop and Move offers an example of the all-too-common phenomenon of road “improvements” making streets worse for pedestrians.