It seems like walking and bike riding are in vogue these days, as people start realizing that commuting, carbon emissions, and city planning are all inextricably linked.
But you'd be excused for thinking it was just a fad drummed up by pinko journalists and their big city ways. It's not, as this graphic by GOOD shows:
However, the graph does suggest that a rise in biking and walking aren't spontaneous trends brought about by more thoughtful consumers (or even rising gas prices, as many have guessed). Rather, the rise of people-powered commuting has a direct correlation with the amount of money being spent by the DOT on pedestrian and bike programs.
So while you can gripe about the government's ability to spend money well, in this case it does seem to be having the intended effect--since 1995, walking trips have increased by over 100%, and bike trips have increased by 700 million a year, a rise of 20%. Score one for the pinkos, we guess.