The GOP Hates Bikes
As part of their big push to cut government spending, Republicans have zeroed in on the nation's cyclists.
By Stephanie Mencimer | Tue Oct. 25, 2011 9:24 AM PDT
Over the past few months, as Republicans have focused their attention on cutting what they see as wasteful government spending, they've zeroed in on a surprising new target: bicyclists, and the programs that serve them.
The federal government spends about $40 billion a year on transportation projects. Of that, about $928 million has been devoted to what's known as a "transportation enhancement" program, which provides funding for projects—including rails-to-trails conversions, bike lanes, and bridges—that make cycling safer, and thus more viable as a commuting option. But as Congress gears up to reauthorize the massive transportation funding bill this year, Republicans are arguing that states shouldn't be forced to use scarce transportation funds to encourage bike commuting when bridges for cars are falling down.