Well, I have found myself on military orders for a few weeks which means I can no longer continue my bike commute to work for about a month. That’s unfortunate.
There is good news however. It appears that there’s a new sheriff in town at the Department of Transportation and he’s declared an emphasis on human powered transportation.
LaHood says the government is going to give bicycling – and walking, too – the same importance as automobiles in transportation planning and the selection of projects for federal money.
“This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized,” he wrote in his government blog.
The blog was accompanied by a DOT policy statement urging states and transportation agencies to treat “walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.” It recommends, among other things, including biking and walking lanes on bridges and clearing snow from bike paths.
Sounds good. Hmmm…who would oppose that sort of thing? You know who…
The National Association of Manufacturers’ blog, Shopfloor.org, called the policy “dumb and irresponsible.”
“LaHood’s pedal parity is nonsensical for a modern industrial nation,” said the blog. “We don’t call it sacrilege, but radical is a fair description. It is indeed a sea change in federal transportation policy that could have profound implications for the U.S. economy and the 80 percent of freight that moves by truck.”
Uh…talk about hyperbole. Who really thinks this policy advocates moving bulk cargo by bike or via baskets on our heads?
Rep. Steve LaTourette, (R-Ohio). That’s who!
“So is it his thought that perhaps we’re going to have, like, rickshaws carrying cargo from state to state, or people with backpacks?” asked the congressman.
Ok…that’s it. Last sane person to leave the country, please turn off the lights.
I can only wait for the tin foil hat brigade to start talking about how this is an insidious plot to turn us into a Socialist nation like China, where, you know, they have a lot of bikes.