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Where do bikes—and bike networks—fit in the infrastructure bill debate?

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Lawmakers continue to quarrel over their support for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, a gargantuan public works package that is chock-full of initiatives and investments shore up roadways, buildings, bridges, public transit, and the internet, among other things. Amid the legislative confusion, transportation experts and climate advocates have separately expressed mixed feelings over the bill’s priorities, with many transit groups saying the package does not go far enough in addressing what was—until the COVID-19 changed the nature of work and, therefore, commuting—an urgent problem in most cities: reducing vehicle traffic and, in turn, building out bike networks. 

“I don’t see anything in there that says we’re going to move America ahead on the sustainability front by investing in bikes,” says Peter Furth, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northeastern. “It’s still largely a local matter” for communities to take up on their own.

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