The Biden administration announced Monday that it will spend $5 billion over the next five years to construct bicycle lanes, speed cameras, and other local infrastructure to promote roadway safety.
The initiative, spearheaded by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, is funded by the $1 trillion infrastructure package that President Joe Biden signed in November. Under the program, communities and local governments can apply for federal funding to "help them ensure safe streets and roads for all and address the national roadway safety crisis."
Examples of projects the Transportation Department identified as eligible for funding include the development of "bikeway networks with bicycle lanes," speed cameras, and setting new speed limits.
The multibillion-dollar investment comes as inflation is at a 40-year high, a situation some experts predict will only get worse. The projects outlined under the program also disproportionately burden American car-drivers, a demographic that has already suffered this year as gas prices have reached record highs.
Democratic administrations have a history of exorbitant spending on pro-bicycle policies. Under the Obama administration, the government spent $300,000 studying "how humans interact with bicycles," $27,500 on bicycle subsidies for employees of the National Institutes of Health, and nearly $50,000 on "elegant" bicycle shelters at the headquarters of that same agency. And last year, Buttigieg mobilized an SUV convoy to drive him to the parking lot of a Pizza Hut in Washington, D.C., to buy a used bicycle.
The same infrastructure bill that allocated funds for the Buttigieg program also includes a provision that requires all newly manufactured cars to include monitors that can detect a driver's blood alcohol concentration.