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Good article. I think it's also important to point out that Ray LaHood is a lifelong Republican, given the nature of some of the comments from visitors to this blog. He provides an example of how important it is not to turn bike-related issues into partisan battles. I'm guessing most readers here did not know LaHood was a Republican. (I didn't know myself until I read the article.)

It's difficult enough to promote balanced transportation infrastructure policies without alienating half of the people in political office or those in the general electorate who can influence policy decisions. As we know all too well, bike enthusiasts often face an uphill battle when it comes to infrastructure development, multiuse bike/run path maintenance and enforcement of the laws (keeping cars out of posted bike lanes, penalties for drivers who negligently or intentionally assault cyclists). We really can't afford to become strident partisans (at least "in public") and ignore how that affects the perception of cyclists among non-cyclists.

I hope LaHood is successful in his plan to normalize transportation policies and decrease the dependence on both foreign oil and oil that comes from risky locations like the Deepwater Horizon rig. The Gulf accident shows the problem with over reliance on oil while our continuing importation of oil from sources abroad boosts the revenues of rogue nations like Iran and Venezuela, who profit from the worldwide market for petroleum, even if we don't buy oil directly from them.

Very nice, but it's a shame that it didn't touch on the lack of a new transportation authorization bill (something the Post has been pretty silent on overall), and Mr. LaHood's role and/or thoughts on the continued extensions.

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