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The truckers' real advantage is in the short- and medium-distance trips. You're always gonna need trucks to get goods from the rail depot to stores. But if the traffic is so bad between depot and retailer, then that costs them quite a bit of money. If the federal government didn't have such a hand in encouraging and subsidizing travel by Singly-Occupied Vehicle, we wouldn't be in such a traffic mess. It would be a boon to truckers if any government (federal or local) rethought transportation planning and funding so more people didn't have to clog the roads that truckers need.

excellent commentary!

i dont know whether to laugh or cry...

Bicycle infrastructure is mostly initiated and funded locally. The amount of federal money e.g. dedicated to trails annually in Maryland is $1MM. They dole it out in $30K grants. You can imagine that's not creating a lot of infrastructure. And it can be for programs too (i.e., Talbot County printed an excellent tourism oriented bike map in part with money from that program).

Mostly this is a nonissue.

The real problem is that we aren't spending enough money on infrastructure. And cars are significantly subsidized to a minimum of about $4.60/gallon.

Oops. Of course, this isn't the only source of money for bicycle and pedestrian improvements. But the total # of programs and the total amount overall ends up being pretty small.

Richard: based on the Subsidyscope discussion in another thread, the car subsidization is much less...more on the order of about $1/gallon.

@Froggie, Subsidyscope's scope is restricted only to inequities in road building/maintenance/operation. Doesn't consider other costs outside the direct transpo funding equation, like public parking, traffic enforcement, and 'energy security'.

Atkinson's comments interest me. I very much see his point about plowing, and I appreciate what he's saying about the state of some of the bike trails. Further, I get the fact that there are plenty of people who will never, ever feel comfy riding on the road. However, at the risk of stirring up another argument, I really wish when people discuss these kinds of issues, they don't so casually dismiss riding on downtown streets.

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