Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dummy of the Day

Ah John Boehner, you never fail to entertain. From Bike Portland via Yehuda Moon:
“I think there’s a place for infrastructure, but what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways, to ease congestion for American families? Is it to build some buildings that are necessary?…But if we’re talking about beautification projects, or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”

Here's the thing. Anything we can do to get more people out of their cars and onto bikes is a good thing. Now I know there's a vigorous debate in the cycling community about the utility of bike paths but I see it like this. Nothing is more reassuring to a novice cyclist than limited access and controlled grades. And when you live in a city like Atlanta where many of the roads where laid out in the era of the automobile, you find that many of the roads are difficult to bike because instead of working with the natural contours of the land, they simply go straight up and over. So John Boehner which do you think further America's energy independence more, a few more oil wells or getting millions of Americans out of their cars on a bike path.


Jett said...

Some of the politicians get me going. I won't apologize for losing my cool. Here's my letter:

Dear Representative Boehner,

I do not appreciate your comments concerning whether or not Americans want bike paths. It is almost daily that I hear from motorists that they would be willing to ride bicycles to work more frequently if there were more bike paths.

Did you not notice that automobile manufacturers are failing, that the number of miles driven by motorists is falling and that bicycle ridership is climbing.

You are not my leader. Get it straight!

NOT Yours until you can realize what the American people DO want,

Jett Marks

Evan said...

I'm more of a you catch more flies with honey kind of guy. But I doubt it will do any good.

Dear Representative Boehner,

I was recently made aware of your comments critical of some of the proposed infrastructure projects. Specifically, you put forth the notion that widening highways eased congestion and were more of a value to American families than bike paths.

I believe you are mistaken in your assumptions. First, I have to point out that anyone who has ever studied transportation infrastructure can tell you that any traffic relief brought by widening roads is temporary as the wider roads simply attract more vehicles. Secondly, I don’t believe you fully understand the benefits of bicycles and bike infrastructure on families and communities.

Now I realize that bicycles are not the ideal transportation solution for everyone, but for many if not most Americans, a bicycle when supported by proper bike infrastructure like bike paths, is a viable alternative. Not only does cycling provide numerous health benefits it also helps reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, an issue I know is of concern to you.

Please take a few minutes to review the enclosed material regarding bicycle commuting and I think you will reconsider your position.

Thank you,