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Wow !From: email@example.com
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 7:25 AM
Subject: "Bicycles Are NOT Transportation." quote from Transportation Secretary Mary Peters
Last night on the PBS NewsHour with Jim Leher, DOT Secretary Mary Peters was interviewed by Gwen Ifill.
Peters, when asked about a possible gas tax increase, repeated President Bush's response - No, there can be no tax increase because Congress is wasting the money they already get. Peters cited "bicycle paths" as a prime example of the waste because bicycles are not a transportation use of the gas tax money. One wonders if this is not a direct attack on Minn. Congressman Jim Oberstar, whose district includes the fallen bridge. Oberstar is the biggest supporter of bicycling in congress.
Bush and Peters appear to be repeating the conservative mantra of starve the beast, to avoid raising any taxes for anything. While one can argue whether a particular government program is being run efficiently, when it comes to infrastructure, there are measurable useful lifetimes to facilities, and the cost of maintaining them in a state of good repair (SOGR) can be calculated. When funding levels are significantly below what's needed to maintain a SOGR, we get deferred maintenance, and eventually, bridges fall down and people die.
While I (sort of) expected this response from Bush, I was surprised to hear it from Secretary Peters. I thought she might have a better idea about the dismal state of underfunding the highway infrastructure maintenance, and the need to begin a pay as you go funding program for annual capital maintenance programs, instead of more floating of bond issues for these repeating annual costs.
I am shocked (sort of) that Peters is attacking bicycle transportation as just a waste of money. This administration is back in the 1950's Auto Uber Alles mentality - we have not crossed that bridge into the 21st Century yet. The dinosaurs of the auto industry are backed into a corner and fighting for their lives - but is attacking the little bicycles is the best they can do? Its also disappointing that the administration is attacking Jim Oberstar for his efforts to get the Minneapolis bridge repaired along with raising all the funding for transportation maintenance, by using Oberstar's support for bicycles as a weapon.
LINK TO AUDIO OF THE INTERVIEW:
Transportation Secretary Mary Peters talks about infrastructure problems and travel initiatives.
There is not written transcript yet.
Thanks for posting this, JNA. Listening to this interview really made me angry.I got this in my e-mail:
Did you get this e-mail directly or was it forwarded to you or is this the first time you had seen it ?
There's never been so much attention from cities collectively for cycling as a mode of transportation," says Loren Mooney, executive editor of Bicycling magazine. "Cities are recognizing that it is a realistic and inexpensive solution to a lot of different problems — to the traffic issues, to pollution issues, to personal health issues because instead of sitting in cars for an hour you have people out burning calories."
"I don't think encouraging cycling is going to reduce congestion or significantly change the transportation makeup of our cities," says Randal O'Toole, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. "There really is very little evidence that any of (these efforts) are reducing the amount of driving. They're just making it more annoying to drivers."
My GF argues that recumbent bicycles are for geeks. Why? Because most of the people riding them are men -- I'll admit that I've never seen a woman on a recumbent -- who are usually of the "tubby bearded guy" genre.
YES, recumbents are for geeks. You planning on getting one?
They are the only form of bike that all cyclists mock.
Short answer: she's thinking like a pedestrian. (What about right-turners exiting driveways? Her entire premise is about fear. "near-fatal...struggling...speeding monster...totally vulnerable...vicious...bike began to swerve...nearly fainted..." Was this a public street or an amusement park?
...there are 31,000 Calories in every gallon of gasoline (That’s the same Calorie that weightlifters flock to and dieters avoid—A Calorie is just a unit of energy equal to the amount of energy needed to heat a Liter of water by 1 degree Celsius). That’s as much energy as is in two weeks of food, and though I wasn’t planning to drink gasoline, a quick calculation led me to believe that I would be able to ride between 500 and 1000 miles on that 31,000 calories.
Now that Ken Keifer and Sheldon are gone who is left?:-(
And in the long run, that's what the worldwide and U.S. bike reforms will have to achieve -- a world of safe cycling for people of all ages, both sexes, all skill levels. If we get there, you can mark 2008 as a big year on the route.
Trek and its ilk need to work on product placement efforts. The last film to successfully showcase a two-wheeler was Brainstorm (some reviews panned it).From The Louisville Courier-Journal - OpEd by Neil R. Peirce -
Headline: Louisville is among cities making 2008 the year of the bicycle
:-o Photo of Miss Gulch (Wizard of Oz) as an icon for bicycling ? :-o
Talk about yer ad hominem attacks...
Ok, you got me on that one too. I've been doing some short city rides to get groceries, go to the brewery, etc., but have only been on one mountain bike ride and no road rides this year. Yikes.After getting over 100 miles in during February (yes, even in Colorado, on the road). I really need to get back in the Saddle as weather and illness only netted me 10 miles for March.
That is my biggest bike project these days.
Did you end up ordering a new bike, zman?
I understand... I have a five year old Cannondale roadie, but I always seem to ride the older steel road bikes that I picked up at yard sales (mid-80's Panasonic or late 80s Specialized). I started riding them because I was worried about the Cannondale getting stolen if I had to lock it somewhere. Now I find them to be much more comfortable and satisfyingly curmudgeonly. :-DI am saving up some bread and will hopefully get a cheaper one at the end of the season. The wife just got a raise, so that should help. Right now it is the old Performance road bike I got from free from my friend's dad. It does really well and is sturdy-- it kind of makes me wonder whether I need a new bike or not.
Those are pretty much the only threads I post in. Can't wait. ;-)Like with the garden thread... and the beer thread... I will have to take a photo to post.
I am saving up some bread and will hopefully get a cheaper one at the end of the season. The wife just got a raise, so that should help. Right now it is the old Performance road bike I got from free from my friend's dad. It does really well and is sturdy-- it kind of makes me wonder whether I need a new bike or not.
Like with the garden thread... and the beer thread... I will have to take a photo to post.
http://www.rowbike.com/You might think of it as rowing on wheels. Unlike stationary rowing machines, the Rowbike actually lets you travel via land.
Scott Olson, inventor of Rollerblades, also created Rowbike. He says it provides both an aerobic and upper body workout.