DOT Secretary: More Walking & Biking ‘One of the Primary Questions of the 21st Century in Transportation’

By Penny Starr | January 23, 2014 | 4:42 PM EST

Anthony Foxx, secretary of the Department of Transportation, spoke at the United States Conference of Mayors on Jan. 23, 2014. ( Starr)

( – Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told governors from around the country on Thursday that integrating all modes of transportation, including more people on bicycles or walking,  is “one of the primary questions of the 21st Century in transportation.”

Foxx, who spoke at the 2014 United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, made the remark after John Mirisch, mayor of Beverly Hills, Calif., asked Foxx what can be done to get more people walking and riding bikes.

Mirisch asked, "My question is, how can we best work together on a national plan to encourage more multi-mobile transportation, particularly encouraging people to bike more and to walk more, including safety issues?"

He also mentioned the 1991 Steve Martin film “L.A. Story” where jumping into a car to travel a city block was portrayed as the norm, asking, “How can we change that?”

Transportation Secretary Foxx said, “I think that is one of the primary questions of the 21st Century in transportation: Is how do you maximize the integration of all of our various modes, and including the ability of folks to walk and bike."

Foxx also said that because cities like Los Angeles and its suburbs are experiencing population growth, people need transportation “choice.”

“In our fast-growing urban places, ‘choice’ is going to be the word,” he said.

Foxx, a career politician, was the mayor of Charlotte, N.C. before he was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2013 to be secretary of the Department of Transportation.