Sep 3, 2007

Politicians vs Bikes Pt2

US Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters has joined the backward Rep. McHenry in asserting that bikes are not transportation. What the fuck is going on here? I dunno what these folks would call it when I ride 10-20 miles each day to get to jobs in various neighborhoods in SF. Clearly, whatever it is, it's not transportation. More pointedly, Secretary Peters insinuates that bridges are falling because huge portions of transportation funds go to bike and ped paths (and lighthouses), which is bullshit. For some analysis of these statements about bikes, read the response from the League of American Bicyclists.

You can read the full interview to see how she scapegoats marginalized modes of transport to explain why bridges are collapsing, while simultaneously lamenting the idea of a higher gas tax.

This sort of thinking is never going to relieve us of our oil addiction. Things must change if we're going to make our lives sustainable. Change doesn't necessitate deprivation. Why do we whine so loudly for being asked to change a bit or to bear the costs of our extravagances? We have many of the solutions that we need to break oil addiction, for example.

As in all of nature, our habits are related and have rippling manifestations in other parts of our lives. Break the oil addiction and maybe my cousin, Jon, wouldn't be in Baghdad right now. I'm over looking at these consumption issues as strictly "environmental". They're all related to our social issues, particularly labor and health issues, but also war and property rights, and land use and transportation and capitalism in general. And scarcity (of oil, timber, WATER, pasture, etc) is only going to emphasize these relationships going forward.

1 comment:

the opoponax said...

Why do we whine so loudly against change?

Well, in the case of politicians like these, it's usually thanks to heavy support of the automotive industry.