Congressmen attack walkers, bicyclists and people without cars.

From: Lois
Subject: Congressmen Attack Walkers, Bicyclists and People Without Cars

On March 12, the US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a speech:

Where I’ve been in America I’ve been very proud to talk about the fact that people do want alternatives. They want out of their cars; they want out of congestion; they want to live in livable neighborhoods. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized. We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

On March 17, at a meeting of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development:

Ohio congressman Steve LaTourette suggested LaHood was on drugs, dismissed the very idea of bike lanes and derided any change from a car-dependent society. He suggested that environmental sustainability projects have “stolen” $300 million from other programs and attacked LaHood’s encouragement of bicycling.

Iowa congressman Tom Latham said that one biker is one less person paying into the transportation trust fund and said real transportation needs are being “swept aside.”

These two elected officials are extremely important because they are on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development committee and they decide where billions of tax dollars are spent. Tell the congressmen what you think of their comments. Their staff keep a tally of phone calls, so each call is important and will only take a minute out of your day.

LaTourette DC office: 202-225-5731
LaTourette Painesville office: 440-352-3939
LaTourette Twinsburg office: 330-425-9291

Latham DC office: 866-428-5642

Full report of LaTourette and Latham’s comments here.
courthousenews.com

Full report of Secretary LaHood’s comments here
fastlane.dot.gov

In addition to the above two attacks:

- Missouri Senator Bond asked Secretary LaHood, “When did it become the responsibility of the federal DOT to build sidewalks?”
- Oklahoma Senator Inhofe criticized a draft bill as having “focused very heavily on transit, bike paths, and sidewalks.”
- Alaska Senator Begich and South Dakota Senator Thune questioned whether livability is applicable in rural areas.
- Arizona Senator McCain introduced an amendment to a FAA bill that would strip funding for bicycle parking facilities

To find contact information for these and for your elected officials, go to VoteSmart. Make your opinions heard and help build a better America.
votesmart.org

To view online, go to: walkroll.com

This makes me want to ride my bicycle just to show the bastards it is a viable transportation choice.

WASHINGTON (CN) – Republicans heaped ridicule on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at a Wednesday hearing after LaHood suggested that bicycling and walking are just as good ways to get around as cars. To laughter, Republican House members suggested LaHood was taking drugs, dismissed the very idea of bike lanes and derided any change to a car-dependent society. “What job is going to be created by having a bike lane?” asked Ohio Republican Steven LaTourette.
Read the rest: courthousenews.com.

What jobs? Where do I start? Someone has to construct the bike lane. Someone has to maintain the bike lane. Someone has to design and manufacture the bicycle. Someone has to sell the bicycle at retail to the end consumer. Someone has to maintain the bicycle with service and repair. Someone has to sell the coffee and carbohydrates the cyclist will consume on his or her daily commute.

In short, it isn’t very much different than anything else. The design, manufacture, retail sales, service & repair, and fueling of a transportation vehicle creates economic opportunities.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

18 thoughts on “Congressmen attack walkers, bicyclists and people without cars.

  1. I wonder how many others from both sides of the aisle have done worse than that.

  2. I’m sure I’m not alone around here in finding American car-centric culture bizarre and appalling. It’s in-fucking-sane what voters will spend to drive around alone in fat-ass cars. Dude I know asked to borrow $1000 from me because he couldn’t service the debt on a rental house he was trying to sell. He and his wife drive matching, top of the line 2008 Volvo SUVs. Guy might as well be from Mars.

    We saw in the summer of 2007 that a meaningful spike in pump prices for gasoline WILL affect Americans’ attitudes. Peak Oil can’t come soon enough for me.

  3. …& THAT, ladies & gentlemen, is particularly indicative of why very few motorists pay any kind of serious price when they run down, injure or take the lives of cyclists…it’s the big american “fuck you & your childish toys !!!” mindset…

    …& the dichotomy is that despite the awesome hard-cores (you know who you are) who’ve actually given up their motor vehicles & can get along that way, probably 99% of the cyclists in this country, serious or otherwise, use, depend on & even enjoy their cars n’ trucks…i know i certainly enjoy my little hot rod…

    …but out on a bike, we’re nothing but fodder to the type of folks like these questionable moronic politicians…these people don’t just drive by you, they drive by you w/ an attitude, muttering under their breath & it ain’t about good wishes…dangerous shit but again, that’s the mindset…

  4. I was really hoping this was some kind of April Fool’s joke, just a few days early. No one can be that fucking stupid. Sorry, I forgot: they’re politicians.

  5. 3 years straight now with no car, I wavered a bit this winter but I think I can make it to 5. We need more cargo bikes, lanes, and really just a culture of car drivers who realize that a biker is a human life and endangering that life to get somewhere 5 or 30 seconds sooner isn’t worth it. By the way I’ll be happy to call and give em an earful.

  6. I’m happy my municipal politicians have at least managed to get a clue…I enjoy a very nice urban cycling environment. Unfortunately, I also see this same attitude about “get a car or get off the road” up where I am.

    I am not a militant, I am not super-hardcore…but I’ll be damned (one way or the other, it seems) by those in cars with the same attitude at these congressmen and the likes of Dr. Thompson from California.

    Sheesh

  7. …@zmud…

    …thanks, but here, i’m preaching to the choir, ya ???…

    …so many politicians have made themselves immune to loss of life in our culture that unless it personally strikes close to home, it’s not “real” enough to affect or bother them & thus they won’t ever care…

  8. …ah, please, spike main, don’t take a shot at it…the way that car is set up, i’ve already got the cops gunning for me !!!…

    …dignified ride for a man of “my age” ???…nope
    …fun to drive for any enthusiast ???…hell yes !!!…

  9. “Iowa congressman Tom Latham said that one biker is one less person paying into the transportation trust fund…”

    For the past month, Republicans have been throwing the word “socialism” around in an effort to scare their constituents. Seems to me that they are only anti-socialist about LIBERAL policy. As Representative Latham’s quote shows, he fully expects everyone to toe the line and do their part where conservative policies are concerned.

    Mr. Latham, Momma always said, “Socialism is as Socialism does…”

  10. Perhaps the gentleman from Iowa is unaware of a number of facts that would render his point moot, regarding payment into highway trust funds:

    1-Many who enjoy cycling, both at a recreational and transportation level are also upwardly mobile and are already paying taxes aplenty on motor vehicles that they currently own.

    2-Many others on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder could not afford to operate and maintain motor vehicle if they were given them as gifts.

    3-Many people living in urban centers, including the upwardly mobile, do not own motor vehicles and have no desire to do so, as such possessions to not make sense in their urban setting.

    4-”Socialized” medicine appears to be a fait accompli, at least until the midterm election. Not getting into that can of worms other than to say that it seems a cumbersome and excessive solution to a long-standing and aching need. That aside, all people can benifit from a few hours of healthful exercise every week. Having safe and convenient infrastructure on which to do so seems like good, sound, commonsense preventive medicine to me. To encourage such on a wide scale could only help to keep medical costs down.

  11. Dinosaurs will die, they just won’t do it quietly. With statements like this, it’s hard to do anything but laugh.

  12. The fact that LaHood even mentioned non-automobile based infrastructure needs is encouraging. It takes concerted government involvement (and time) to transform “alternative” modes into ones that are expected and relied upon.

  13. This is some of the reason why I’m a, as my wife puts it, a goddamn do-gooder lawyer, and why I can’t sleep at night living in Ohio.

    Dear Mr. LaTourette: I’m a lawyer. I vote. I’m active in politics. I ride a bike. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you can’t get elected dog catcher in my state.

    Thank you for your time.

    Erik W. Laursen
    (not a constituent in your district, but that doesn’t mean I won’t fight your agenda)

  14. This from a reply via my social networking. I’ve left out the identifiers but it seems to sum it all up:

    “Clearly y’all are not familiar with the douchebag that is Steve LaTourette. I’ll give you the quick version:
    He’s from my hometown, and divorced his wife for a young thing in D.C. I briefly worked with his daughter, who was — surprise! — a total brat. He made an amazing speech in congress re all the AIG shit involving the phrase “sphincters are tightening” (see: http://www.facebook.com/l/35ced;www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/19/congressman-claims-sphinc_n_176932.html )
    And now this. This. This is my surprised face.

    Secondarily, Madison is not a place that biking around is something anyone would ever consider — the roads are fine, but it’s just not done in northeast Ohio outside of Cleveland and maybe Lakewood/Cleveland Heights, places right outside the city.”

  15. A bike was my main form of transport for over 9 years, and God guided me every day. Then I was reliant on public transport for 2 and the Devil started in on me. Satan has taken over me because now I use the Devil’s machine too much. I dream of the exorcism that will free me from this miserable existance. We can clearly see these glutonous, evil doers have lost the way of His path.

  16. now that i am an “older” (ha) cyclist and enjoy the gran fondos almost as much as racing, there was a time that i was thinking of doing the RAGBRAI ride in Iowa.
    not any more.
    sorry, Mr. Latham. i will not be stimulating the economy of Iowa by staying in your hotels, eating at your fine dining establishments, spending my hard earned money in your local businesses in the forseeable future.

    get a life, ABANDON YOUR CAR