08 October 2007

Empty apology from Secretary Peters

Remember when the US Secretary of Transportation dismissed "bicycle paths" as a "waste" of federal transportation infrastructure money? I sure do because I'm still fuming about it, especially every time I see her smug face blabbing about motorcycle safety. I have nothing against motorcycles, mind you. The way I see it we are comrades--straddling our two wheels, demanding that drivers pay attention, suffering the endless criticisms about our "attitude"--but at least no one ever questions your right to be on the road.

Anyway, I never did bother to email her because I figured it would be utterly pointless to do so; turns out I was right.

From Commute by Bike:
Transportation Secretary Mary Peters Responds

"Thank you for your e-mail about the importance of bicycling and walking as a form of transportation. I share your interest in a safe, efficient multimodal transportation system.

"Your e-mail discussed comments I made during a recent interview regarding the importance of effectively prioritizing major transportation spending decisions...

[bunch of meaningless fluff]

"Thank you again for voicing your opinion. I hope to continue to work with bicycling and pedestrian advocates as we face the challenges of meeting our country’s changing* transportation needs."

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. The first commenter put it best: "uh... that was a long winded way of saying nothing in particular."

Oh, and to illustrate my point about how fallacious it is to argue that automobiles constitute Real Transportation but bicycles are mostly mere recreational devices, here's dad's new car:

Now, just you try to tell me that we need a million miles of interstate because 50-year-old men are driving those things to work and back every day.

(Happy birthday, dad.)

*"Changing"? No, our country's transportation needs aren't "changing," this is they way they are now. "Changing" implies that bicycling and pedestrianating (it's a word I just invented because no one ever talks about just "walking" anymore) will perhaps maybe become somewhat possibly relatively importantish at some indeterminate point in the vague, nebulous "future," mostly likely long after the current administration has left office for good, so it's nothing that you need to waste time being concerned about because right now it's only a tiny, insignificant, and justifiably ignorable aspect of our national transportation needs. Oh, go to hell.


At 09 October, 2007 09:15, Blogger Benjamin said...

Yeah, I got one of those letters, too. I at least think it's a good sign that she felt obligated to deny an anti-bicycle bias.


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