This article originally appeared on the Larmoyeux & Bone website.
Cyclists were the real winners of the Midterm Elections on November 8, 2022. Voters across America approved $3.6 billion in funding for local bicycle infrastructure projects, according to PeopleForBikes, which tracked voting for the projects and helped raise community awareness among voters through its VoteForBikes campaign. Election night victories were the culmination of PeopleForBikes’ intensive 2022 campaign, which resulted in 42 successful pro-bicycle ballot measures.
The funds won at the ballot box will go towards improving on-street biking and walking infrastructure, new trail systems, park construction, and additional active transportation systems in local communities across the country, all of which will result in safer and more accessible infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Millions of people spoke loudly at the ballot box on election day about the importance of improving cycling infrastructure, and they put their money where their mouth is by voting to raise or extend property, sales, and income taxes to fund the infrastructure projects either directly or through bonds.
Two ballot measures were successful in Florida. Voters in Indian River County approved the Environmental Land Bond Referendum, which will provide $50 million over 15 years to “acquire and permanently preserve environmentally significant lands, including protecting natural areas and public access improvements,” according to PeopleForBikes’ ballot-tracking scorecard.
Similarly, Alachua County voters approved the Wild Spaces Public Places and Infrastructure Tax, which will provide a whopping $480 million over 10 years for “a variety of park and recreational infrastructure, including boardwalk reconstruction, park paths for walking and riding, and other park facility improvements, many of which allow for more pleasant and connected biking,” the ballot-tracking scorecard explains. The funds will be raised through a combination of the renewal of the Wild Spaces and Public Places half-cent tax coupled with a new half-cent infrastructure tax.
Voters in Cook County, Illinois, increased funding by $380 million for county forest preserves, which boast 150 miles of paved trails and 200 miles of unpaved trails for riding.
In Teton County, Wyoming, voters extended a penny sales tax to approve 15 local projects, including two that will net $18 million for bikes over the next six years by creating safe routes to school, as well as fund bike/ped safety signage and other features of the town of Jackson.
Over in Wake Forest, North Carolina, voters supported a $14.4 million bond solely dedicated to improvements on three town greenways and the construction of nearly 5 miles of additional pathways.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, voters approved an $80 million public land bond that will provide recreational opportunities and natural area protection, with an emphasis on several bike projects and trails.
Voters in Salem, Oregon, supported a large municipal bond to fund critical infrastructure projects, with a stated focus on multimodal needs and park improvements. At least $25 million in funding will be specifically dedicated to safter bicycle routes and crossings.
In San Francisco, California, the combined results of Measures I and J maintained car-free space in Golden Gate Park and along JFK Drive, two of San Francisco’s significant routes dedicated to biking, walking, and active transportation.
PeopleForBikes plans to keep the positive momentum going in 2023 by continuing to “monitor local elections and build awareness around opportunities for better biking infrastructure!”
Learn how you can get involved and take action today by visiting PeopleForBikes’ Advocacy campaign.