Design Template by Bikingtoronto

« November 2011 BAC meeting notes | Main | To Request Green »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I'm still amused that the Heritage Foundation and GM lobby against alternative transport hand in hand. Who would have thought!

It ain't nitpicking to expect perfect copy from Heritage. I am a little disappointed in these guys. I expect snarky (the better to reciprocate) and erudite distortion, not sloppy and crude omissions of easily-checked fact. I blame an intern.

I think it's only fair to put a Cabi station right outside their front door.

I find it interesting that some of the vocal bike infrastructure/bike sharing opponents always complain that bikes are a sign that we are "becoming more like China" while China is becoming more like the U.S. in its reliance on cars.

But why China? Though there have traditionally been many cyclists in China for practical reasons, many European cities are better known for their bike infrastructure, bike sharing systems and bike culture. Many people here are familiar with the large bikeshare systems in London and Paris. And there's the widespread bike infrastructure and use of bikes in the Netherlands and of course Copenhagen.

Using China in these bike complaints is a way to tie in images of Chinese low-cost manufacturers, Communism, the Third World (although key Chinese cities are no longer "poor") and a non-Western lifestyle.

I think it helps to point out that many of the biggest supporters of cycling are in Europe. There's the Tour de France and other multistage and one-day bike races. More importantly, the average citizen rides bikes to commute and to run errands in cities like Copenhagen.

Do we want American cities to look like Chinese cities? Well, considering the fact that their cities are now inundated with cars and smog, my answer is no. But do we want American cities to look more like London, Paris and Copenhagen? I think that would be OK with many people, when you phrase the issue like that. That's exactly what people should do when replying to the strident and near-obsessive critics.

I have to admit that I don't have a knee-jerk reaction to all of the Heritage Foundation research, opinion and rhetoric. I'm probably more of an independent these days, with conservative thoughts on some issues. But as far as cycling goes, I think the Heritage Foundation is wrong, both in terms of transportation and in the effect that cycling and bike infrastructure can have on society: reduced air pollution, improved health from the exercise, improved mental outlook from riding in the open air, less need for massive parking lots in urban/suburban centers (Tysons Corner, anyone?) that causes space issues and gridlock.

I think it's only fair to put a Cabi station right outside their front door.

Where's the like button? :)

The Heritage report claims " 35 percent is diverted to high-cost, underutilized programs like trolley cars, transit, covered bridges, hiking trails, earmarks, administrative overhead, streetscapes, flower planting, hiking and bicycle paths, museums, “transportation enhancements,” tourist attractions, and archaeology".
In recent weeks, information from pedesrian and cycling advocacy groups have stated that "transportation enhancements" amounts to 1-2% of federal transportation spending. How in the world does Heritage come up with such a high number?

FWIW, I think cycling advocates are doing a good job of focusing on what works here in the USA. The US isn't China--the don't have the obesity problem. The US isn't Europe--they don't have the traffic fatality problem. Improved bicycling networks have been shown to address both of these problems and are popular with Americans. We need to do what works for us.

Having said all that, I'd love to see Alexandria (where I live) become Copenhagen on the Potomac. I just don't think it helps to phrase it that way in public.

Purple Eagle, I think they're including money that goes to transit, CMAQ, SRTS, Rec Trails and other non-roads programs.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009

Categories

 Subscribe in a reader