Two lawmakers want to restore funds for bicycle transportation.
Millions of dollars would enhance bicycle transportation across Wisconsin, under a proposal that would restore cuts made to the fund. Madison Democrats Representative Mark Pocan and Senator Fred Risser say biking is big business in the Badger State.
Madison leads the nation in commuters bicycling to work (tied with Portland, Oregon). According to 2010 Census Bureau numbers, one in every 17 commuters, or 6 percent, used a bike to get to work in both locations.
Pocan had secured $5 million in state funding in the 2009 budget for bicycling when he was co-chair of the legislative budget writing committee, but that money was cut from the state budget.
Recreational biking and related industries generate $1.5 billion annually in economic activity in Wisconsin, including approximately $535 million per year in tourism from outside the state, according to a report last year. That’s more than the $1.4 billion economic impact of deer hunting.
Risser says “Biking is good for the health of not only Wisconsin, but the health of our economy.”
Madison has about 127,000 thousand daily commute trips, of which approximately 7600 are made by bike.
NOTE: The bill was formally circulated for co-sponsors Tuesday.
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