Monday, January 12, 2009

bike paths are a waste of money and shouldn't be part of an economic stimulus



House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) was on Face the Nation Sunday morning and had some thoughts about the need to quickly pass a "responsible" stimulus plan. Here's a link to a story on the TheHill.com

“I think there’s a place for infrastructure, but what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways, to ease congestion for American families? Is it to build some buildings that are necessary?” He stated. “But if we’re talking about beautification projects, or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”

I am an American and i am not looking kindly on the idea of widening highways during oil wars and impending depression while also disregarding bicycles as transportation. The irony is killing me. Its it that crazy of an idea to the federal powers that bicycles are freakin' transportation?!?! Widening highways would cause more problems than it would solve and eventually that solved problem will only be the same problem but bigger and wider!

and here's another similar situation, check out this post on bicyclespokesman.com about a bike path near Washington DC that is not being built, but a 6 lane highway will be built!

Anyways, shoupy gave me a heads up in this along with with Rep. Boehner's contact info.

We wrote him, you should to! Post a copy of your letters in the comments.

ps. By the way, "...widen highways, to ease congestion for American families?" What the hell is that supposed to mean? I didn't watch the news last night, or the night before, but did I miss some big story about the new biggest threat to our family life as we know it like: Millions of American families suffer congestion due to skinny highways...film at 11.

pps...don't read more....WRITE MORE! give 'em a piece of your mind!

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5 comments:

chillwill said...

Rep. Boehner,

I am disappointed by your recent comments on Face the Nation. Bicycle paths are not wasteful spending, especially in these tough economic times. Bicycles are viable, green, and inexpensive transportation for millions of people. More bicycle paths, lanes and other infrastructure needs to be built. Its a great investment in the future of this country.

Please also fix AmTrack. Make it work. Make it more viable and easier to use. Lower the fares, lay more track and have the infrastructure to carry bicycles.

Thank you,

murbike said...

Here's mine:

Rep Boehner,

I read an article on The Hill (www.thehill.com)where you are quoted as stating “I think there’s a place for infrastructure, but what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways, to ease congestion for American families? Is it to build some buildings that are necessary?” He stated. “But if we’re talking about beautification projects, or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”

Were you talking about the Americans in Ohio, or were you including Americans in other parts of the country? The reason I ask is because I (an American since birth, and a voter since the day I was eligible) would welcome beautification projects and bike paths in my community.

Don't get me wrong, I think infrastructure projects are very necessary - things like repairing the existing crumbling highways, bridges, sewers, power systems, and other crucial infrastructure parts.

Please note - I said repairing, not adding to. Rather than putting up roadblocks, why not work with the incoming administration to see what can be done?

Before we start adding lanes (or roadblocks), we should be fixing what is in place.

If I had a choice between bike paths or more lanes, I would choose bike paths (or other alternatives) over more highway.

More highway means more cars, which means more exhaust output, which means more pollution, etc....Adding lanes only gives the impession that there is room for more cars, thus compounding the issues I listed above. Those lanes will eventually fill up. What then?

Rather than making it easier to get into the cities by car, encouraging sprawl, necessitating more highway, why not make it easier to live in the cities?

A bike path, on the other hand means a couple of things to me:

I will be able to get my kids outside, breathing fresh air, getting exercise, making them healthier and happier.

I will also be able to commute to work easier, safer, and with less of an impact on the evironment making me more productive and happier.

I will be healthier, reducing the burden on our medical system.

By riding a bike or walking to work, I am also reducing the congestion you are so concerned about.

I think those combined benefits are worth more than getting into the cities faster.

Thank you for your time,

Brendan said...

And people wonder why Republicans keep losing elections...

Karma said...

Its a research-proven fact that even if you widen highways this only alleviates traffic congestion for a severely limited amount of time. Eventually congestion returns, and in a manifestation involving many more cars than experienced beforehand. This is a backwards "solution" to traffic woes and one that panders to big oil, the auto companies, and archaic highway departments. Not a surprise from this character.

Charles J Gervasi said...

I agreed with some of Boehner's comments, but I thought the bike path comment was so wrong-headed that I googled it and found this blog. (I listen to show on podcast about a week behind.)

We don't have a plan for what we'll do once oil runs out. There are some promising technologies, but bikes a solution that's here today. We should be encouraging bike paths and discouraging new highways.