I don't know if the actual link to the government policy statement had been made here yet.
United States Department of Transportation Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian accommodation regulations and recommendations
"The establishment of well-connected walking and bicycling networks is an important component for livable communities.........Walking and bicycling foster safer, more livable, family-friendly communities; promote physical activity and health; and reduce vehicle emissions and fuel use. ......... Transportation programs and facilities should accommodate people of all ages and abilities, including people too young to drive, people who cannot drive, and people who choose not to drive......."
and from its its conclusion
"Increased commitment to and investment in bicycle facilities and walking networks can help meet goals for cleaner, healthier air; less congested roadways; and more livable, safe, cost-efficient communities. Walking and bicycling provide low-cost mobility options that place fewer demands on local roads and highways. DOT recognizes that safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities may look different depending on the context appropriate facilities in a rural community may be different from a dense, urban area. However, regardless of regional, climate, and population density differences, it is important that pedestrian and bicycle facilities be integrated into transportation systems...."
I know the LaHood announcement had been discussed in bike forums earlier. I wanted to post some quotes from the actual policy statement.