Monday, January 11, 2016

Congress Doing Something For Cyclists??????

Congress has the lowest approval rating since such records were kept.  If they do a little something to promote cycling, they could certainly get some higher numbers from one sub-culture - cyclists.  A new bill may allow cities to use transit funds for bike share programs without having to ask "Mother, may I?"  This matters because transit money is often used for roads and other motorized vehicle infrastructure that is not sustainable.  It usually cannot be used for cycling by the terms of the appropriations.  And if you guessed Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon was a backer, you'd be right.  He's the guy you see tooling along in the bike lines wearing a bowtie and gushing from his effusive personality.  I know.  You are thinking the bill won't pass because it is reasonable.  I get it.  You see the approval polls and think the entire Congress have lost their way.  Perhaps not.

Actually there is a Congressional Bike Caucus which has both Republican and Democrats among its members.  Congressman Tom Petri, like the dish, is also a supporter.  Something to consider if you ever plan to write an advocacy letter, or if you are a single issue voter.  Bike lanes, or bust.  (Remember Bernard Shoenbaum's New Yorker cartoon showing a Congressman leaving the Capitol on a bicycle?

As much as they bellyache about the debt (or really DEBT), you would think that Congress would want to save money.  Maybe $25 trillion would help.  But you could not do isolation math to calculate the savings to cities, because it would include reducing healthcare spending by eliminating obesity-related illnesses, reducing the damaging impact of carbon emissions, cutting wear and tear to roads frequented by cars and more.  That might be a little complicated for this particular group.

Well some of the healthiest people live in Utah, which has the most active population in the United States.  More exercise, more cycling . . . You do the math.  Not you.  Congress.

So, if I see you in the bike lanes, and you a Congressman of any party, or a long-suffering staffer, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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