Sunday, September 16

Bicycles are Not Transportation ...

and neither is walking.

So says U.S. Secretary of the Transportation, Mary Peters, who claimed that bike paths and trails were partially to blame for the Minneapolis bridge collapse last month. Here's the transcript of the PBS NewsHour appearance.

I have to jump on the bandwagon with this one, even if the bloggers and various transportation organizations have been all over this for weeks. I spent a half an hour reading through the blog search results for "Mary Peters" and I could not find a single voice of support. Why the (obviously contrived) attack on alternative transportation? One would think a transportation secretary would want to support practices that spare congestion and save infrastructure costs.

A article from a couple of days ago theorizes about what could be behind this:

Peters is on a campaign to quash the idea of raising the gas tax, as she editorialized recently in the Washington Post. A key proponent of raising the gas tax to fund bridge restorations in the wake of the Minneapolis bridge collapse is Democratic Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who has advocated for bike and pedestrian paths in his district. By putting a culture-war spin on the bridge collapse, Peters is hoping to run his gas tax proposal off the road.

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