US Secy of Transportation: Cyclists are important users of transportation systems

This blog entry by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood is--if possible!--even more amazing than the Secretary's speech at the National Bike Summit.

An excerpt can't convey the full impact--so here is the entire entry:
On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of addressing the National Bike Summit. I was invited to speak as a member of the Obama administration, but I have been a supporter of bicycling for many years and was a member of the Congressional Bike Caucus when I was in Congress.

Still, I don't think the League of American Bicyclists knew what to expect when they invited me to their summit.

I hope they were pleasantly surprised because I am committed to investing in programs that encourage bikes to coexist with other modes and to safely share our roads and bridges. And there’s strong support in Congress for these goals as well.

In the Department of Transportation, bicyclists have a full partner in working toward livable communities. We're excited that the Federal Highway Administration is looking at best practices in Europe to improve safety and mobility for walkers and cyclists. We're excited that a federally funded pilot project to study the effects of improved walking and bicycling facilities in four communities is underway. I think I conveyed that excitement to the summit, judging by the early response (BikePortland.org, Streetsblog.org)

I welcome the vigor of the bicycling community in advocating for bike-friendly measures in the upcoming authorization bill, CLEAN-TEA. Bicycles are a critical part of a cleaner, greener future in American transportation, so keep those wheels spinning.
Things are really, really changing in Washington. There is a very great realization that transportation--healthy transportation, anyway--consists of a lot more than creating the highest possible throughput of motorized vehicles.

Now--if we can just import some more of that realization back home to our own leaders in MoDOT!