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I-205 Bike Path
I-205 Bike Path (axcordian, Wikimedia Commons)
How stupid and petty are the Republicans? At Crooks & Liars, karoli explains:
The Obama administration has made bicycle lanes and safe streets a priority. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood is an avid cyclist who understands the benefits of safe pathways. As one who has nearly been run down by distracted drivers who inadvertently swerve into very narrow bike lanes, every improvement made is one that I view as a lifesaver somewhere to someone.

Enter Rep. John Mica, our new Republican transportation appropriations overlord. Yes, our tea party Congress has proposed killing all guaranteed funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Back in July, when the House was busily carving out all sorts of little green projects from the budget, Mica and his crew decided bicycle paths and walkways for pedestrians were just extras we don't need. Luckily, the Senate had our backs and passed a clean funding extension, but the two bills have not been reconciled yet.

President Obama's new jobs bill includes spending on infrastructure, and the Republicans were objecting even before the president's speech.

karoli:

The 10 percent set-asides in surface transportation funds are to build bike lanes like the one that is being built along the Mussel Shoals corridor to protect cyclists from being rear-ended by trucks going 45 miles per hour. Those 10 percent set-asides are used to build bicycle paths in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Those 10 percent set-asides enable people like me to continue NOT to own a car and rely on my bike and public transportation to get from point A to point B.

But as President of the League of American Bicyclists Andy Clarke wrote last week, Republicans were already trying to strip the transportation bill:

Senator Coburn (OK) has said he won’t agree to an extension unless funding for bike projects is stripped out. Representatives Boehner and Cantor have basically said the same thing in the House. Yes, folks, they are willing to hold the entire transportation program hostage – infrastructure spending and millions of real jobs – to get rid of bike projects.

Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved their extension bill. It’s clean. Most likely, Coburn will try to force a vote on the floor of the Senate next week to strip out the popular transportation enhancements program…which funds the lion’s share of bike and pedestrian projects around the country. So, if you’ve ridden on a bike trail or bike lanes, or used a bike rack on the front of a bus in the last few years…the chances are you’ve seen the program in action. And if Coburn, Cantor and Boehner succeed, we’ll see a dramatic drop-off in bicycling safety improvements.

And of course it's about even more than bike safety. It's yet another attack on the attempt to develop and encourage a cleaner, more responsible lifestyle in the face of the most important issue humanity has ever faced. This nation just went through its second hottest summer on record, and from filibustering to protect oil industry subsidies to endangering the safety of bicyclists, the Republicans are trying every means to protect the industries most responsible for causing climate change.

Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And yet they claim to care... (12+ / 0-)

    ...about "energy independence" and "reducing our dependency on foreign oil."

    Feh.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:22:02 AM PDT

  •  They do not like other people's (7+ / 0-)

    children.  Probably aren't too keen on their own either.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuzZQ8LTE2c

    by hannah on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:22:45 AM PDT

  •  Whew (5+ / 0-)

    I thought this was going to be about helmets.  

    Bike lanes are dangerous if they're part of the roadway.  I like

    greenways
    myself.  

    Ask not for whom the ban hammer swings. It swings for thee.

    by Nada Lemming on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:23:30 AM PDT

    •  I think lack of connectivity (6+ / 0-)

      is a problem. If we are serious about using bikes as a means of transportation (full disclosure - my husband bikes to work about 90% of the time) we need to educate drivers and bikers safe road sharing methods. Greenways are great and serve a large portion of the population, they just don't always go where you need them to.

      •  I have friends (4+ / 0-)

        who brag about acing cyclists off the road.  They think we have no right to be on them.  Where I live, I'm scared to death to ride on a public highway.  

        My wife was once pushed by a car rider going over a river bridge, and she narrowly missed going into the water. Apparently the passenger thought it was funny.  She won't bike on even a side road to this day.  

        Ask not for whom the ban hammer swings. It swings for thee.

        by Nada Lemming on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:53:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  riding on the road is not for everyone (6+ / 0-)

          there are different levels of skills - I certainly wouldn't send my younger kid off to ride on a state hwy - but my husband knows what he's doing and he knows it's legal - we just have to educate the drivers that they don't own the road. We live outside of DC in MD - there are more than a fair share of crazy drivers who assume that biking on the road is illegal - my husband was even pulled over by a policeman for biking on the road - he informed the guy of his rights and called the station chief to educate his force. My husband is a member of several bike advocacy groups and there have been improvements over the years - he has gotten wider shoulders put in whenever he sees that a major road is being repaved and he's very aware of what type of sewer grates they use.

          In the summers we go to Boulder Co - a biker's paradise - roads with wide shoulders - bike paths that connect and reasonable drivers.

          •  There are so many levels of WTF going on here. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ginger1, enhydra lutris, Sue B, murrayewv

            Educating drivers about cyclists' road rights is a great idea - I just haven't been able to figure out a way to do it in ~30 years as an adult cyclist. Maybe we could have all drivers (including cyclists) who are guilty of offenses against cyclists sentenced to bike safety courses, and then to spending some quality time out on the road on a bike so they get it from the cyclist's point of view. Most of the time, though, such punitive tactics are unhelpful. Even worse, IMHO, is when even the COPS don't know the law. We get yelled at to ride on sidewalks, for example, when in most localities it's against the law to do so at more than 8 mph. It's also dangerous as hell to do so in downtown areas, and often illegal in the bargain. We need to have this kind of crap smacked down every time it happens..

            Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

            by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:36:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  a start (and just a start) to educating drivers (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OrdinaryIowan, murrayewv, flight2q

              are the share the road signs that are popping up - but there is such a long way to go. Our local elementary school which is named for an environmentalist and located in a "walkable" community has no bike racks. My husband requested that they put some in and was told by the principal that any parent who lets their kid bike to school is out of their mind and any child who shows up on a bike will be suspended for the day. This did not sit well with the hubby who called the school headquarters and was told that the decision to put in bike racks is entirely up to each principal. Husband offered to have his advocacy group go into the school and give the kids and their parents classes in bike safety - the principal emphatically declined. It could have been a teachable moment - sigh. We have a tandem bike - so our son did show up most days on a bike.

              •  It's possible to remediate lack of information.. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ginger1, Sue B, kait, murrayewv

                but you can't fix stupid.

                Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

                by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:52:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Depending on the location of the school and the (0+ / 0-)

                safety of bicycling on them it the principal's position may be totally reasonable.

                No level of environmental correctness is worth dead or maimed kids.

                •  Topsy turvy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  OrdinaryIowan

                  In reality it is those driving their kids to school who are causing the danger you refer to. At this school it is our experience that half of the kids who are supposed to take the bus, are driven in a car. And a large fraction of those who are supposed to walk (less than 1 mile in a neighborhood specifically designed to be walkable and bikeable) are driven in a car.

                  In such a situation we have a choice. We can either discourage those causing the problem, or we can make the victims unwelcome. Do you deal with the problem of bullying by expelling the victims so that the bullies will have less targets? I hope that would not be your choice.

                  •  Wow! Some arrogance here! (0+ / 0-)
                    In reality it is those driving their kids to school who are causing the danger you refer to.

                    What about all the other cars on the road?  Or has your school built a private road system to each student's house?

                    half of the kids who are supposed to take the bus, are driven in a car

                    "Supposed to take the bus"?!?  Who decided that these kids were SUPPOSED to take the bus?!?

                    And a large fraction of those who are supposed to walk (less than 1 mile in a neighborhood specifically designed to be walkable and bikeable) are driven in a car.

                    "Supposed to walk"?!?  And who decided that?

                    One gets the impression that there are some would be ayatollahs at your school who want to micromanage the lives of the students and their families!

                    In such a situation we have a choice. We can either discourage those causing the problem, or we can make the victims unwelcome.

                    So you're going to discourage families from driving their kids to school?  Good luck.  I'm pretty sure you'll get your head handed to you.

                    Do you deal with the problem of bullying by expelling the victims so that the bullies will have less targets?

                    Sorry, Einstein, but driving your kids to school is not the same as bullying other people.

        •  i think you need to find some different friends. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ginger1, Iberian, murrayewv

          They sound like the kind of "friends" that would have had a great time enjoying a picnic lunch at a lynching. No disrespect meant to you, NL - I haven't seen anything in your posts to suggest you share their point of view.

          Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

          by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:24:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am a cyclist (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrdinaryIowan, Jay C

            As I referenced above. It scared the crap out of me when I hear that stuff.  I shouldn't have said friends, though.  I meant co-workers, which pass as friends these days.  To be fair, I had told one of them that I viewed sushi as bait, while he was eating sushi.  

            Ask not for whom the ban hammer swings. It swings for thee.

            by Nada Lemming on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:30:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's where I hear it the most, too.. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jay C, Nada Lemming

              snatches of conversation with ignorant-as-bricks co-workers who are amused by acts of cowardice and brutality. Most (99+%) of the motoring public is at least accomodating, if not supportive - but it only takes one bastard..

              Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

              by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:43:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Understand that. We try very hard to stick (0+ / 0-)

          to bike paths.

          There's another issue:

          People are much more likely to ride their bikes if they feel safe doing so.  Protecting cyclists from idiot drivers who could kill them on a whim (or just carelessness) is a money maker/saver.

          Just the other day, my wife and I were on the tail end of our morning ride, going down a nice hill with a sharp left at the bottom.  A car came up along my wife and the driver shouted "Get out of the way."

          Pissed me off royally because I was up ahead a bit and didn't know it happened.  From here on out, I'll ride behind her and hope the moron in the black BMW shows up again.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:15:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  educate? (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah, no there;s not educating that's gonna make using a bike with 2 ton steel machines comin at ya, at 55 MPH.

    •  Not sure if Florida still does this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nada Lemming, Ginger1, Jay C, Iberian

      But paved shoulders used to be a part of every state road design.  The original purpose was to protect the driving surface from erosion, but they also functioned as bike lanes.  

      While a dedicated bike path is always preferable, a paved shoulder is better than a lined bike lane on the driving surface.

      The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

      by gulfgal98 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:52:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did a longish (56 mile) bike ride yesterday (5+ / 0-)

        in some suburban areas west of Seattle, across Puget Sound. Some of the roads were new, in excellent condition and with wide paved shoulders, and a pleasure to ride on. Others were older and either had very narrow shoulders, unpaved shoulders, or no shoulders. And pretty much all were strewn with gravel that was always a threat to staying upright or being flicked at high speed at a passing car or pedestrian.

        All of which, to me, speaks to the need to build and expand upon bike lanes paralleling but separate from highways and rural roads, that are regularly maintained to keep them smooth and gravel-free. Not only would this make cycling safe and more pleasant, but I'm convinced that more people would cycle (or use low-speed electric bikes and scooters, which I think should be able to use such lanes). Our roads are way too geared for cars.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:36:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cool! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie

          My husband and two buddies recently rode 780 miles from Seattle to Bellingham and then back south and east through Washington state to the Oregon border where they finished in Portland.  It was a tough ride and they spent two weeks doing it, but they had a great time.

          The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

          by gulfgal98 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 07:06:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They must have gone far into eastern WA (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gulfgal98

            since that's a long ride. I did the STP some years ago but have otherwise stayed local. I'd like to try some eastern WA rides someday. It would be nice to not have my view obstructed by trees all the time.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 09:26:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "Paved shoulders" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murrayewv

        Is that what those things are? Not being originally from FL, I always wondered. Having an ex as a bicyclist, and the stepmom of two (now adult) kids, I can assure you they don't really function (although I've seen 'em used) as bike paths. And they certainly aren't where they are needed.

        Guess which state leads the US in pedestrian deaths, and pedestrian/bike vs. MV accidents? What a shock, FL, which lacks even enough sidewalks. Remember the hubbub a few years ago when the school bus routes were cut to save money?

        I suppose the bike lane money is a moot point for us anyway, as Gov. Penis, er,  Scott is saying that like the rail money, he'll turn down the federal jobs monies.

        And I swear this time it is not my fault. I stopped mocking AZ as soon as he was elected.

        •  to clarify (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kait

          Paved shoulders were not originally intended to be bike lanes.  In Florida, the requirement for paved shoulders was to prevent erosion of the driving surface from the sides.  However, paved shoulders came to be useful for creating bike lanes.

          As I stated in my original comment, paved shoulders certainly are not nearly as good as dedicated bike paths.  However, I have ridden on paved shoulders and in my personal experience, they are better than no bike lane or a bike lane that is marked on the driving surface.

          As far as your other comments regarding Florida, I agree.  This state has very low taxes and no one wants to pay for anything. That was before Scott.  He is just the one to complete the transition of Florida into 3rd world status.

          The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

          by gulfgal98 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 07:02:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  gulfgal, I got what you were saying. I'm sorry if (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gulfgal98

            I sounded like a shit. I'm just demoralized, what with living down here and all. I remember you from the DH diaries, which I still lurk at (missing Fishgrease), and I'd never want to offend you.

            •  I miss Fishgrease too and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kait

              I felt your frustration and knew it was not toward me personally.  Honestly, I thought you misunderstood what I had written.  thank you but no apology is necessary.  :)  

              BTW, I still have Fish on my follow list just in case he ever decides to return.  

              The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

              by gulfgal98 on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:58:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Florida (0+ / 0-)

        Back in the 70s I was part of a cyclist's movement to get wider shoulders on Fl roads. We went to Tallahassee to lobby. The law passed, and new projects built with state money were mandated to have these shoulders.
          The problem is, many localities just ignored the law for years. It's only in the past 15 years that we've seen new projects being built with shoulders.
          Even for motorists the shoulderless roads are hazardous. Try changing a tire when your jack is sinking inot the sand.

  •  Bicycles are subversive (8+ / 0-)

    After all, why bother to fight our addiction to foreign oil if we can't substitute it with an addiction to domestic oil? Bicycles don't assist in that.

  •  They just want to make your life as miserable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    and desperate as possible. "Ugly brutish and short" are their goals, not obstacles.So the citizenry are less likely to wake up one morning and just decide to burn down the world of the Overlord class.

  •  Bicycles promote lots of jobs (9+ / 0-)

    In our city a new local bicycle store just opened up around 2008. You'd think it's the worst time to open any business. Yet it's been doing very well. They have 2 full time mechanics on staff fixing and assembling bikes.

    Let's face it- all bicylists accessorize. You get a bicycle, and you'll change the seat out almost right away. And then the pedals. Then the shoes, then the lighting, then the clothes, and handlebar/stem/grips. You just churn through this stuff. This is all great job creators for small local businesses.

    •  i think it has to be true (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, Jay C, icemilkcoffee, Shockwave

      I've been making the switch to commuting by bike.  It can be scary at times but I've learned which roads to avoid.  Sometimes a less direct route keeps me out of the path of car drivers who think a bicyclist is a kind of target.

      And then I started getting that bug.  It started with the seat.  Then I got to noticing other things that I wasn't happy with.  Last week I rode down to the local bike shop and purchased new brake levers.  And heck, while I'm at it I may as well replace all the cables and housings right?

      The money I'm blowing on improvements I've more than saved in gas.

    •  The bell, the mirror, the saddlebags... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      icemilkcoffee, Shockwave

      ...the replacement innertubes, the lube...

      I was at the Madison Ironman Triathlon yesterday.  I couldn't believe the bikes and funky helmets.

    •  Helmet. Helmet. Helmet. Helmet. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, icemilkcoffee, Shockwave

      And for the men, shorts/undershorts. And water bottles and holders for everybody. Lights/reflectors too.   (PSA, unable to resist).

      For those who still have disposable income, there's also clipless pedals, shoes, mirrors, a trueing wheel, indoor trainer, all kinds of different tires as well as a bajillion cute little repair tools. And multiple outfits.

    •  And how many jobs does this generate compared (0+ / 0-)

      to cars?

      Any evidence that bicycles generate more jobs than cars?

      I doubt it.

      This is not a good reason to support bicycles.

      •  Most people also keep a car for rainy weather etc (0+ / 0-)

        So whatever you are doing with your bicycle is in addition to your car.

        The car's care and feeding mostly involve gas, oil, and car parts which are manufactured by large conglomerates and sold through nationwide chain stores. So the trickel down effect there is less diffused than with the bicycle. There are still tons of small scale bicycle parts and accessory manufacturers making things right here in the US.

  •  Bike paths do so many good things (12+ / 0-)

    Obviously, bike paths are a safety issue for protectinig cyclists.  But far more than just being a safe way for people to ride, bike paths actually encourage people to ride, even casually which helps keep our population healthier.  I would also add that bike paths contribute to the general safety of the areas in which they are located because they are activity generators which put more ears and eyes in the neighborhoods through which they run.  IMHO, bike paths and linear parks are among the best dollar investments in recreational opportunities.

    Here's my own story about a rails to trails conversion back in the 1980's. There was an abandoned rail line running south of Tallahassee. to St. Marks on the Gulf coast, a distance of about 16 miles.  The state of Florida decided to use it as a demonstration project for converting old rail lines to linear parks under the rails to trails program.

    About four miles south of Tall. was a small community which was very opposed to the trail going through it.  Two short sections of the proposed trail were privately owned and it took a while before they were finally acquired and linked into the rest of the trail.

    On the day that the trail opened, I was among the first group of cyclists to ride it.  When we got to that community, we were forced to detour about one mile along a very busy highway.  After the two remaining sections were acquired, we could ride the trail straight through, but the locals of the community would put tacks out on the trail to puncture our tires.  Often riders were verbally harassed too.

    Then suddenly after a few months, all the harassment and nastiness stopped. Why?  Because the residents of that small community suddenly discovered that having the trail go through their community had many positive economic and recreational benefits. In fact, those residents became heavy users of the trail themselves and ended up being among its strongest supporters.  

    The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:43:37 AM PDT

    •  Happy ending, but why are people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gulfgal98, Jay C

      so fucking stupid and selfish to begin with? Doesn't take very much background research to realize that this is by far the more common outcome.

      Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

      by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:18:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  most probably (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OrdinaryIowan

        Fear of the unknown.  This was back in the mid 80's and was the first rail trail in the area so peole had nothing upon which to judge.  I had heard that many people in that community were afraid that it would bring crime to the area.  In fact, the effect was the opposite.

        The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert. gulfgal98's corollary- Our soul is gone.

        by gulfgal98 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:53:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  All that crime that bicyclists cause (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, murrayewv, OrdinaryIowan

        People around here have worried that thefts/rapes/litter/whatever else would follow the bike path. Hasn't happened yet, and I don't think it would be easy to put a TV on the handlebars and make a quick getaway.

        •  I mean if I wanted to commit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          beauchapeau, OrdinaryIowan

          a crime I would certainly choose to speed away on a bicycle!

          Though I suspect that the bike paths might have led to an increase in stolen bicycles parked at businesses near the bike paths as people used the opportunity to patronize local shops. I bet when they steal the bicycles they use a car and a pre-existing road to speed the bike away from the location, though..

          Perhaps we should close the roads, they seem more of a problem for thefts and such...

          People around here have worried that thefts/rapes/litter/whatever else would follow the bike path. Hasn't happened yet, and I don't think it would be easy to put a TV on the handlebars and make a quick getaway.
      •  Perhaps because the state was acquiring (0+ / 0-)

        the property by eminent domain?

        No one likes a bully.

        Eminent domain should be reserved for truly essential projects.

  •  Why conservatives hate bike paths (10+ / 0-)

    They think that bicycless are for sissies and real men drive SUVS. They continue to think that on the way back home from their triple bypass.

  •  I'm surprised these assholes haven't tried to (5+ / 0-)

    ... notch fuel economy standards back down to a mile per gallon.

    Fucking neanderthals...

  •  things like bicycle safety (8+ / 0-)

    and bike paths are just "low hanging fruit" in the obstruction battles.  They can make a big noise about these because they know for their base, these things are sources of ridicule.  

    They'll obstruct on anything, but being opportunists, will take the easiest stuff first.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:39:43 PM PDT

    •  We can go on the counterattack (0+ / 0-)

      by insulting the sorts of out of shape, monster SUV-driving ingoramuses who will drive 5 miles r/t to pick up a 1000 calorie latte and tend to vote Repub. Our road system and urban and suburban design paradigms are way too friendly to and encouraging of unnecessary driving and discouraging of non-motorized or mass transit trasportation. Thing is, a lot of those drivers are swing voters who sometimes vote Dem, so this could also backfire.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:42:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The entire motivation of the GOP (8+ / 0-)

    is, "if liberals want it, piss on it". It's not even about saving money anymore. It's about sticking it to anyone who's not in lockstep with the GOP by taking away as much as possible.

  •  Man, if GWB was still around riding his bike this (0+ / 0-)

    would absolutely not be allowed.  Bike trails?  Hell yes, especially in his neighborhood.

  •  Boehner is so in bed with Big Energy (4+ / 0-)

    He won't even use solar power to get a sun tan.

    Battleground Wisconsin: Fascism has come to America

    by jhecht on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:07:21 PM PDT

  •  It's obvious. Bicyclists wear bike (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hkpa, HeyMikey, kait

    shorts which shows off your junk and therefore cycling is teh gay. Also French people ride bikes so they are just trying to maintain Freedom roads.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:08:48 PM PDT

  •   My impression is Reds States are more dangerous (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hkpa, HeyMikey

    for bicyclists. They seem to have fewer bike lanes and narrower shoulders. Of course Real Americans are expected to get around in their pickups and SUVs.

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:15:12 PM PDT

    •  With their obesity rates.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      ....I tend to think relatively few of them ride bikes.

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:25:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live/ride in El Dorado County, CA (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hkpa, HeyMikey, Lefty Coaster, Jay C

      It's as RED as it gets up here and you are right - it's openly hostile to bikes.  Go down to the greater Sacramento area, and it suddenly becomes civilized.

      I have had cars slam on brakes right in front of me (on purpose), things thrown at me, countless epithets shouted at me, cars swerve in to my lane (again - on purpose).  

      ....and I'm one of those cyclists who takes extraordinary pains to follow the laws TO THE LETTER.  I don't run stopsigns, or lights, I signal, I stay as close as practicable to the right hand shoulder, and I don't ride two abreast (sucking someone's wheel is the real reason)

      so this hostility is purely irrational anti-cyclist bias and it's dangerous and scary.  I have reported several incidents to the local law enforcement and CHP and thus far, nothing's been done about any of it.  

      not just red states - red counties, red cities, etc...

  •  It is SO annoying when the chauffeur . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    has to stop the Bentley and pry those bicyclists out of the wheel well . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:15:24 PM PDT

  •  For Republicans bicycles are part of the problem.. (0+ / 0-)

    ... because they don't come with AC, so what good are they anyway, if there really is global warming?

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:17:27 PM PDT

  •  Great diary! Title quibble: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Sue B

    it is not bicycle safety alone that is being proposed to be cut - - it is integrating bicycle and pedestrian facilities (paths and trails) into all transportation facilities.

    More apt might be: "...cut bike facilities funding", or "...cut non-motorized modes from transportion funding".

    This is the first time there will be "complete streets" design provisions required in the transportation bill (i.e., all modes must be considered and designed for, not just cars and trucks).  THAT's what La Hood's difference is.

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:18:36 PM PDT

  •  I live by a bike lane (0+ / 0-)

    Put in all special like when the road was fixed.  All summer, three bikes used it.  Sounds like a great use of money.

    •  Depends where it goes (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson, HeyMikey, kait, elkhunter

      Bike lanes have to go somewhere, just like any transportation link, in order to be used. But if a road is being fixed, retrofitting a bike lane or pedestrian facility then is extremely cost-effective, compared to building them when the road isn't being fixed. How much do you think an extra couple feet of pavement costs?

      •  Yep. Chicken & egg. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kait, murrayewv, beauchapeau

        Not a lot of cyclists because there aren't a lot of bike lanes that go anywhere. The more bike lanes you build, the more cyclists you get...which builds demand for more bike lanes.

        Gotta get to critical mass first. Not there yet. That doesn't mean we can't get there.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:55:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I live by a bike land (0+ / 0-)

      So---- that means that no one anywhere else in the U.S will be using bike lanes.?

    •  You sat there and counted? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv

      Did it cost that much or inconvenience you or drivers?

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:37:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live by a cancer ward (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv

      Less than .1% of the people in our area use it. Sounds like a great use of money.

      If a bike lane was thrown in without connectivity, nobody will use it. Put in connectivity, it will be used. And perhaps not by you. Not everyone will use a cancer ward either.

      •  In some rural areas..... (0+ / 0-)

        folks bike more on weekends- gets folks out to rural areas and promotes tourism.

        Here is a link to a study on economics of bicycle tourism.  http://www.bikeleague.org/...

        One of the most celebrated examples is North Carolina’s Outer Banks, which, by a conservative estimate, generates $60 million in economic activity through bicycle tourism. They spent $6.7 million on bicycle infrastructure and have seen an annual nine to one return on that one-time investment. The types of visitors drawn to bike on the Outer Banks add a boost to the economy with their ability to spend money. A study shows that the bicycle tourists there tend to be affluent (half earn more than $100,000 a year and 87 percent earn more than $50,000) and educated (40 percent have a masters or doctoral degree).
        Expenditures by the 680,000 annual visiting bicyclists support 1,400 jobs in the area. The study shows that the quality of bicycling in the Outer Banks influenced vacation planning. Over half of survey respondents said bicycling had a strong influence on their decision to return to the area. The facilities themselves were well-received. Two-thirds of respondents said that riding on bike facilities made them feel safer and three quarters said that more paths, shoulders and lanes should be built.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 04:08:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I say they need to be philosophically consistent.. (0+ / 0-)

    NO funding for ANY public project EVER.

    No roads
    No bridges
    No rail
    No air travel

    It's not about bike lanes for these people - it's about wanting to take us back to the good old days....

    of feudal europe.

    if you want a working example of how small government and low/no taxes work - move to somalia.....

    If the T-partiers want to really be honest - they will scare the bejesus out of the voters and relegate themselves to the scrap heap of failed parties in American history.  

  •  I'm all for this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    But, of course, it's more about cities like San Francisco and LA and New York.  So, smaller cities...like Omaha and Cleveland and even Raleigh and Savannah aren't included?

    I see the righties complaining that it's just a scheme to shore up democratic cities...blue areas and so forth.

    This needs to be about more than just where there's a bunch of people.  Not trying to be negative about it, but let's be pragmatic here.  If we're going to rebuild infrastructure and if we're going to build roads and bike paths and improve our parks and federal recreation areas, let's do it across the board.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:24:00 PM PDT

  •  Real Americans are fat and driving SUVs. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r2did2, HeyMikey

    Eh, Comrade?

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:24:14 PM PDT

  •  I get the feeling that Repubs hate cyclists (6+ / 0-)

    and basically anyone who embraces a healthy, fit, positive, progressive and environmentally sustainable lifestyle. If you cycle, run, work out, eat well, don't pollute, don't smoke, don't drink to excess, recycle, drive a high mpg car (and only when you need to), etc., then they hate you, because it challenges and offends their irresponsible and infantile sense of entitlement and reminds them of their own many personal shortcomings.

    It's ultimately all about projected self-loathing, or:

    Photobucket

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:27:13 PM PDT

  •  Enhancement program does many things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kait, murrayewv
    Eligible Activities
    1.Provision of pedestrian and bicycle facilities
    2.Provision of pedestrian and bicycle safety and education activities
    3.Acquisition of scenic or historic easements and sites
    4.Scenic or historic highway programs including tourist and welcome centers
    5.Landscaping and scenic beautification
    6.Historic Preservation
    7.Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities
    8.Conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails
    9.Control and removal of outdoor advertising
    10.Archaeological planning and research
    11.Environmental mitigation of highway runoff pollution, reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality, maintain habitat connectivity
    12.Establishment of transportation museums

    "I'm not a humanitarian. I'm a hell-raiser." Mother Jones

    by histopresto on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:27:14 PM PDT

  •  Not surprising, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, wsexson, kait, elkhunter

    they are afraid the US would start to look like this:

    http://www.bikesonoma.org/

    by Hkpa on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:28:46 PM PDT

  •  Bike riders don't buy gas... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hkpa, HeyMikey

    or not much gas, ergo they aren't supporting the oil companies. Republicans can't stand people who don't buy oil/gas, it cuts into their bottom line.

    Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

    by p a roberson on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:30:58 PM PDT

    •  BIKE RIDERS DON'T PAY TAXES! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv

      No, I commute to work on my bike and don't pay gas taxes, directly. But wait a minute, I thought the Republican Modus Operandi was that "Taxes are bad" - so by riding my bike I am protesting the EVIL TAXES!

      Well but but but the gas tax is a good tax because it pays for the roads.

      OK then, if it's a good tax, let's DOUBLE IT!

      Well no no no it's already good enough to pay for the roads.

      I see, Mrs. Bachmann. When the I-35 Bridge collapsed in your home state, why was the reconstruction paid for via funds that did not come from the gas tax?

      OH! That was an EMERGENCY! The bridge fell down!

      I see. Why did the bridge fall down? Certainly not because the gas tax was too low to properly maintain the bridge?

      •  Now, now... (0+ / 0-)

        don't get yourself too excited, we wouldn't want you to start making sense. It all makes perfect sense if you don't think about it, and sprinkle "tea party magic dust" over everything.

        Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

        by p a roberson on Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 04:48:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's just de-fund the red states.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigtimecynic

    Then we will see just what welfare queens they really are....

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

    by rclendan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:31:13 PM PDT

  •  Hippies Ride Bicycles. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C

    Understanding the reactionary right's positions these days can be summed up: It's the hippies, stupid.

  •  Thanks, LL. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Such an important topic -- and ridiculous, for the amount of money we're talking about relatively speaking.

  •  Robert Novak will have his revenge!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    If it weren't for that goddamn liberal cyclist, Novak would have gotten away with his attempted hit-and-run.  Which brings up the next item on the agenda; lowering pedestrian safety...

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:31:44 PM PDT

  •  Thugs want to take little Billy's bike too. (0+ / 0-)

    Thugs for Pres!

    Yeah, I know this is more than kids.  But it is also our kids.  Thugs want to leave them by the side of the road with targets on their backs.

    And voters are likely to reward them next year for it.

    This country is insane.

  •  what does George Bush think about this??!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigtimecynic, HeyMikey

    Photobucket

    R U READY FER SOME FOOTBALL!!! GO FINS!!!! only undefeated team in history!

    by surfdog on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:36:00 PM PDT

    •  I always liked that GWB rode a bike. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C

      Too bad he wasn't an open advocate for it.  BTW - Can you imagine the right-wing ridicule of a photo of John Kerry in a bike helmet?  Shit, they mocked the guy for wind surfing, which is fucking cool and bad-ass to those of us who don't live in a La-Z-Boy.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:40:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bike/ped projects: MORE jobs per $ than road-only! (0+ / 0-)
    For each $1 million, the cycling projects in this study create a total of 11.4 jobs within the state where the project is located. Pedestrian-only projects create an average of about 10 jobs per $1 million and multi-use trails create nearly as many, at 9.6 jobs per $1 million. Infrastructure that combines road construction with pedestrian and bicycle facilities creates slightly fewer jobs for the same amount of spending, and road-only projects create the least, with a total of 7.8 jobs per $1 million.

    http://www.peri.umass.edu/...

    Yet more evidence that, though Obama sucks, the GOP sucks worse. Re-elect Obama in 2012, dammit.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:47:37 PM PDT

  •  It takes a special kind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kait

    Of swine to hate bike lanes.  Seriously.  Even wingers rode bikes when they were kids.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 01:51:20 PM PDT

  •  Extras we don't need? EXTRAS WE DON'T NEED? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal, flight2q

    Hello?

    Let's see, aren't these the same guys who decry being dependent on foreign oil (the answer is yes, btw)?

    More than a few studies have shown that people are not merely willing, but happy to commute on bicycle when it is a reasonable and safe thing to do.

    One of life's little pleasures for me and my wife is our walk (sometimes bike ride) to the local Starbucks where we sit can sit outside and watch, among other things, people riding their bikes to the train station (also to the courthouse down the street and assorted local business) for the commute downtown to Chicago.

    Bicycles are not the solution to our energy and transportation problem, but there's no need to put that weight on their willing handlebars. They are more than capable of contributing their fair share to the solution.

    And -- better still:

    You know those horrific health care costs that are a drag on American competitiveness and productivity?
    Bicycles aren't going to solve that either, but...
    people who can safely and pleasantly run some local errands on their bikes are going improve their health.  

    And -- the capper;

    Lots of cheap bikes are made in China, but you start wanting a nicer bike when you rely on it to get around, even if it's only for some of your needs.  A lot of those nicer bikes are made right here in the US of A.

    Goodness. Sounds like the kind of thing honest Republicans should be fighting for, not against.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:09:47 PM PDT

  •  Now I want to run over a tea-bagger with my bike.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kait

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

    by rclendan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:22:16 PM PDT

  •  I don't bike, and.. (3+ / 0-)

    I am so in favor of bike paths, safety for cyclists, and responsible behavior of everyone who shares the road. My last bike ride was September 15, 1995. Two objects cannot occupy the same space, and if one of them is a pickup truck, the other will often end up broken. I am fortunate that I am mostly normal again, but I just can't bring myself to ride anymore.
    BTW, i was in a bike lane, and the PU had a stop sign. Oh well.

  •  does this have anything to do with the UN? (0+ / 0-)

    b/c I think the UN wants to take over by forcing us on to bicycles or something.

    Je regretez tout. How's me French?

    by Mark B on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 03:00:20 PM PDT

  •  I still (0+ / 0-)

    Remember when Zell Miller flipped and he was on TV attacking Kerry for ridding bikes, he said that was an unamerican sport.

    Assholes. Hopefully down here we are getting a bunch of new bike lanes.

  •  Dole, 1996 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv

    Bob Dole wanted to strip funding from bike & pedestrian projects all the way back in 1996. Once the Republicans adopt an agenda, they never give up on it, no matter how petty and mean. Actually, the pettier and meaner the better.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 03:15:51 PM PDT

  •  DC Repugs See a Scary Tipping Point (0+ / 0-)

    Bike sharing (Capital Bikeshare or CaBi) has developed so fast in DC and is becoming so popular even The Examiner has given up complaining about sharing = socialism.  The best criticism they can come up with now is that the system is sooo popular it can be hard to get a bike in residential neighborhoods in the morning or find an open docking station in the CBD.  In a couple years time CaBi could easily support a 10 fold increase (currently at 1100 bikes) in bikes and stations that would bring it up to the density of the Velib system in Paris. Each bike gets used on an average 4 to 5 times a day.  Imagine 50,000 clean trips everyday that also reduces health care costs.  An absolute repug nightmare.  Since communities can use transportation enhancements funding to support things like bike sharing systems, that is the real target.  

  •  Personally, I have a long, long history... (0+ / 0-)

    ...of sharing the road with cars. Did it in Lansing, Michigan and the suburbs north of Dallas. I did it in small-town Taiwan and now do it, every day, in Taichung.

    And I must say; drivers in Taiwan are very respectful of bikers. Drivers in the U.S. were generally respectful, tho you met the occasional asshole who took umbrage; but only very occasional, and usually not on the road (i.e., in conversation at parties or whatnot).

    Anyway, my point is to say that, while I agree with the diarist that gov't cost-cutting by short-sheeting bicyclers is yet-another of many laughable instances of straining the gnat and swallowing the camel by our political "betters", bikers will continue to enjoy what I have always considered to be an odd sort of prestige; the opportunity to be seen as a fundamentally equal player in the traffic arteries of our cities.

    Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

    by razajac on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 07:25:55 PM PDT

  •  "This machine kills terrorists." (0+ / 0-)

    So what does it say that Republicans want to kill my bicycle?

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 11:26:00 PM PDT

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