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Old 08-21-07, 07:10 AM   #1
Grasschopper
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Please note...your bicycle is not a form af transportation in the US

This is apparently the new stance of our government presented to us by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters speaking on the PBS Newshour August 15.

Did anyone catch it? My local bicycle coalition has sent a response to Secretary Peters which can be read here: http://www.centrebike.org/

When I read the top about Secretary Peter's comments all sorts of thoughts went through my head and then I read the response and they pretty much nailed it. Please contact the DOT and your representative in congress to let them know your feelings on the subject.

Full transcript at PBS: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/trans...ure_08-15.html

Sorry if this has already been posted.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:31 AM   #2
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Secretary Peters didn't say that bikes weren't transportation. She said that bike PATH projects aren't directly transportation related.

What she said is an overgeneralization, but has a ring of truth. While there are some places where certain strategically located bike paths carry significant volumes of utility cycling traffic, in other places they are almost entirely recreational, with people driving their motor vehicles to the path, unloading their bikes for a ride, and then loading them back up to go home, or taking a ride from their home around a lake and back with no real destination.

These recreational rides are important, in my view, but it begs the question of what source of funding is most appropriate for them. My city funds these with Parks and Recreation dollars and through agreements with land developers.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasschopper View Post
Sorry if this has already been posted.
It has already been posted. At least this thread started with a comment by someone who actually botherd to read more than the title.

BTW the context of the interview was the bridge collapse as it relates to the state of transportation infrastructure in the U.S.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:05 AM   #4
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These recreational rides are important, in my view, but it begs the question of what source of funding is most appropriate for them. My city funds these with Parks and Recreation dollars and through agreements with land developers.
Where was an argument begged? I am a bit confused. Or, did you mean to say, "These recreational rides are important, in my view, but it raises the question of what source of funding is most appropriate for them?"
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Old 08-22-07, 10:33 AM   #5
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Where was an argument begged? I am a bit confused. Or, did you mean to say, "These recreational rides are important, in my view, but it raises the question of what source of funding is most appropriate for them?"
That is an argument that has been made by a lot of other groups as well, that bike paths etc are not appropriate uses of federal transportation $. I think what the earlier poster was getting at is that yes, bike paths are nice for recreational rides and are nice to have, but is transportation money the best funding, or should it be coming from the rec budget or somewhere else.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:40 AM   #6
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I believe I understood the post. It was the improper use of "begs the question". "Begs the question" does not mean "raises the question". Sorry about that, I have been seeing improper use of the term a lot lately and I was tired.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
I believe I understood the post. It was the improper use of "begs the question". "Begs the question" does not mean "raises the question". Sorry about that, I have been seeing improper use of the term a lot lately and I was tired.
And now that you've made me look it up, I have learned something!

I don't mind being corrected; my own pet peeve is "I could care less...."
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Old 08-22-07, 12:07 PM   #8
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This is I guess a related letter to the editor in local paper. No mention of bike paths, but 'special paving projects'
http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...,kendall2.html
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Old 08-22-07, 01:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
Secretary Peters didn't say that bikes weren't transportation. She said that bike PATH projects aren't directly transportation related.

What she said is an overgeneralization, but has a ring of truth. While there are some places where certain strategically located bike paths carry significant volumes of utility cycling traffic, in other places they are almost entirely recreational, with people driving their motor vehicles to the path, unloading their bikes for a ride, and then loading them back up to go home, or taking a ride from their home around a lake and back with no real destination.

These recreational rides are important, in my view, but it begs the question of what source of funding is most appropriate for them. My city funds these with Parks and Recreation dollars and through agreements with land developers.

I agree that the recreation rides are important, even if they go nowhere. MUP & bike specific paths are some individuals only path to cycling, due to fear of the roads. They are attracted to cycling for whatever reason and it's made more attractive with long, scenic & somewhat safe places to ride. Considering that there are far more bicycles in the US than there are people, and that cycling is a +billion dollar industry in the US I think it is a very popular recreational activity.

Keeping that in mind I direct your attention to the current hubbub over health in the USA, care or the lack thereof and the generally justified assessment that sedentary lifestyles are more common now than ever before, contributing greatly to the current health situation.

Cars contribute enormously to the sedentary lifestyle, they can be misused and are misused in the same manner as liquor, cigarettes and fast foods. When liquor and cigarettes were linked with apparent health issues the governments began to use the high taxation of these items to offset the costs of picking up the pieces. The taxes on such things were already high, justified as vice taxes, and now we're told that health is the reason they must be heavily taxed, to recoup the costs of maintaining a safe society where we can profit by such vice, and are free to indulge in them.

Some argue that gas and auto taxes are for roads, and take offense when they are used for roads that accommodate bicycles or separate facilities for cycling. I believe that a sizable portion of this money should be used to offset the health issues that our sedentary lifestyles have inflicted on other more prudent citizens who look after their health and don't use transportation unnecessarily thereby helping to relieve congestion pollution and wear on the public system, whether road or healthcare. Cycling has clear benefits to health, physically and, when it is a preferred recreation, mental health as well. Our autocentric ways have convinced many people that an ideal lifestyle involves driving to anything further than a few blocks, and that living far from where you work is alright, because you can just drive there each day. This sort of behaviour is costly, and a fair way to cover those costs is a flat tax on gasoline, where those who choose to drive more bear more of the costs. Using these monies exclusively for roads, especially expansion in a manner that continues to encourage lifestyles that involve long commutes or driving as a necessity to reach services & goods is irresponsible in the extreme. Maintaining roads, while investing in alt trans, reduced trips, and health facilities that people want to use is completely justified and right responsible behaviour.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:21 PM   #10
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Secretary Peters didn't say that bikes weren't transportation. She said that bike PATH projects aren't directly transportation related.

.
Please don't state the truth, people would rather use any excuse possible to defend the sacred cow of cycling--bike lanes.
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Old 08-22-07, 02:18 PM   #11
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For more on this issue, check out today's (Aug. 22) issue of CenterLines, the newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking (see Items No. 2 and 3 under Features).

http://www.bikewalk.org/cl/2007/aug/0822b.html#f2
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Old 08-22-07, 03:44 PM   #12
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This is a duplicate thread and should probably be closed and or merged.

Disturbing interview with DOT Secretary
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