Congress wants to stick a pump in our spokes

Cycling advocates nationwide are up in arms over congressional assaults that the League of American Bicyclists says “threaten 20 years of progress in promoting bicycling and walking as energy-efficient, healthy and safe modes of transportation.”

You probably already know this — but just in case it comes as news to you, LAB, the America Bikes coalition, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Adventure Cycling and other organizations are fighting tooth and nail to keep bike-ped funding in the House and Senate transportation bills presently slithering through the legislative sausage-making process.

In the Senate, advocates are backing an amendment by Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) to guarantee local governments a voice in transportation decisions and provide funding for bikeways, sidewalks and safe routes to school.

In the House, they are urging representatives to oppose the entire transportation bill — it’s that bad. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), interviewed for “Living On Earth,” called the measure “arguably the worst piece of transportation legislation I’ve seen that has been proposed. Not just in the 15 years I’ve been in Congress, but for many years before that.”

If you haven’t already contacted your senators and representatives, please do so. And thanks.

15 Responses to “Congress wants to stick a pump in our spokes”

  1. Khal Spencer Says:

    I concur with the doom and gloom crowd for the most part. The House bill is so bad that an increasing number of Republicans are breaking ranks and opposing it–link below. It seems to be more of a backlash against all things progressive than it is a real attempt to constrain the size and scope of government in a wise fashion. I know…using wise in the same sentence as D.C. is a bit unrealistic.

    http://dc.streetsblog.org/2012/02/08/house-transportation-bill-too-extreme-for-some-republicans/

    Air pollution, vulnerable oil shipping lanes, Peak Oil, and poor public health are all national issues. The House of Representatives bill attempts to turn back the clock to the days of “See the USA in your Chevrolet” without offering any alternatives to those who just want to see the corner store on their Bianchi without getting drilled by a texting driver.

    Call, write, and bitch to your representatives. Thanks.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    Sure, I’ll call my congressman Steve King about this. A guy who thinks carbon trading is as bad as communism, he probably wrote this bill! The only guy we have in Iowa who would care about this is Tom Harkin and he already is likely opposed to it. This kind of crap is just another reason to VOTE in November.

  3. High Plains Drifters Says:

    Money talks and bullshit walks. If you’re not donating to or patronizing one or more of these organizations (LAB, AC, R2T, etc), then no one to blame when they make riding a bike illegal.

  4. High Plains Drifters Says:

    Worth mentioning: the big Tea Party win in 2010 was mostly because voter turn-out was around 40% and one voter in three was over 60.

    Voting is the best thing you can do. But second best isn’t donating — it’s finding one buddy who wasn’t going to vote and helping to get him to the polling station.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      In 2010, disaffected Donks stayed home. In 2000, disaffected progressives voted for Ralph. Both were really bad ideas. Politics is the art of sausage making, and a vote for Ralph was basically a vote wasted.. I was not in love with Al Gore, but Jeziz Christ, look what we got. A 5-4 vote for the other guy.

      Definitely bring someone along to the polls. More importantly, people need to get their own asses to the polls.

      I’ve had some huge fights with LAB leadership, but stay a member and actively support LAB because we can’t afford to dissipate our voice. Also, I really do like Andy and some of the Board folks. Need to keep it a big tent. Custer showed what happens when everyone goes their own way.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Roger that, K. I thought the Gore campaign was one of the weakest I’d ever seen, right up there with Dukakis. The election never should have been allowed to be close enough for Dubya’s daddy’s pals to steal it. Al fell into a barrel of tits and came out sucking his thumb, is what.

        I’m all about the One Big Tent — in fact, I’m considering sending some money the IWW’s way, just ’cause. When I was a Junior Commie it boggled the mind to watch the Marxist-Leninists attacking the Trotskyites attacking the Maoists attacking the Stalinists. Splitters!

      • Larry T. Says:

        Gore’s campaign was pretty lame – the biggest “hold my nose” moment when stepping into the booth was the choice of Joe Lieberman for Veep. That was really tough and the guy’s done nothing but confirm my distaste for his politics since! Maybe Mittens will choose him for 2012? We can hope!

  5. Khal Spencer Says:

    The Suicide Squad one is nearly as relevant to bicycling politics.

  6. The Explainer: Share the damn road : Red Kite Prayer Says:

    [...] Of course, the ideal would be the establishment of a national policy that would mandate the establishment of safe passing distances for automobiles passing bicycles. Quick action on that is unlikely, given that this is an election year, Congress hasn’t really been accomplishing a whole heck of a lot lately and when they have, it hasn’t always been what one might term “bicycle friendly.” [...]

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