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Pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicylists bear brunt of increase

The number of Americans killed in traffic accidents increased in 2012 for the first time in seven years.

Just a few days ago, the Federal Highway Administration released "The National Biking and Walking Study: a 15-year Status Report." The study covers walking and bicycling trends in the U.S. from 1990 to present. As the chart shows and the study reveals, more and more Americans are hitting the streets either on two feet or with two wheels a-rolling. From the launch of the study in 1990 to the last update in 2009, the number of trips traveled on foot have increased more than twofold from 18 to 42.5

You may think you're doing the planet a bit of good by stepping out of the car and onto the bike in order to get to work, but if you live in the city, you might also be seriously harming yourself in the process. The cause of problem? All those people who continue to drive their cars.

The City of Detroit is about to undertake a massive construction project that will create hundreds of miles of pathways for bicyclists to use through the heart of downtown. The project aims to provide safe travel lanes for commuting cyclists and bikers visiting local attractions and, by linking together Detroit's downtown area, the city hopes to set an example for other cities across the nation. Might as well try to take the lead in something other than urban decay, right?

Right now, it seems impossible to imagine a day when bicycles and pedestrians can equally share the roads with cars and trucks in the U.S., but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood aims to make that day a reality. Recently, LaHood announced a "major policy revision" that will treat cyclists and walkers with policies similar to automobiles. LaHood's goal is to refocus efforts on non-motorized transportation by adopting policies that will encourage more people to consider these alternative transpor

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