Bikes & Government

It has been an interesting day in my little corner of bicycle culture.  I saw 2 cyclists this morning walking the dog , rode to work , as usual,  got an email from League of American Bicyclists and had a discussion with the local government about bike racks.

Lets get to the important stuff first.  LAB sent me an email today with the following text:

Protect vital bicycle funding programs- demand proportionality in rescissions! Take Action!
The Jobs Bill passed by Congress last week contains a $2.2 billion rescission of transportation funds from state Departments of Transportation. In many states, the DOT will likely target bike funding programs for the money to send back to the federal government – unless local advocates speak up and make sure that doesn’t happen.  States must report which program funds are affected by August 25th- so action is needed this week!

Unlike previous rescissions there is no proportionality requirement calling for equal distribution of funding program cuts. Instead, the law gives the States maximum flexibility to choose the unobligated balances of funds to be rescinded.

The amount each state has to rescind is up to $200 million for the largest states.  Many programs that fund bicycle projects are threatened by these rescissions including. These programs are often unfairly targets for cuts or rescissions, and in some cases have been completely gutted.

Take action now! Please contact your Governor and ask that rescissions be done equitably across programs, and that those that traditionally fund bicycling projects not be unfairly targeted.

While this first struck me as being an premature reaction , it occurs to me that by the time they remove funding it’s an uphill battle to get it back.  I think it’s better to let them know early that the citizens want bike infrastructure than to scream when they decide to cut it.  Anyway, I encourage you to follow the link and contact your governor.

On a lighter note, when I left the house at 6:30 AM to walk the dog I saw a biker in a bright orange jacket riding on a cross street up ahead of me.  I wanted to catch up to see where they were going but you don’t move too quickly when your companion wants to smell every tree and pee on most of them.   The next person I saw rolled by wearing either a jersey for a lifeguard or a swede. Either way he looked like a pretty confident rider and again I wanted to have a conversion but when he pulled over and I walked by he was on his phone.

So I brought the dog home and got ready to take my ride to work.  The ride was uneventful but relaxing.  The slightly unusual thing was that I was riding along the same route I take every day and suddenly at beginning of one of the small hills I got this burst of energy and sprinted up the hill.  And where I usually get to the top  a little winded, I came over the crest feeling good.    That lasted until I sat down at my desk and looked at my work for the day.

Lastly, I received word a little while ago that the Wallingford Town Council would be discussing bike racks at a meeting tonight.  I had brought up the idea of installing bike racks at meeting about parking last year as a way to get people out of their cars and free up parking.  It seemed well received by most people but nothing was done about it for the next few months.  Recently the local paper did a story about me trying to get them to install bike racks which apparently got some attention because they put it on the agenda tonight.  Of course I had to attend and I was slightly nervous that they would be trying to ban installing them or something.  As it turned out most of the council was in favor of them.  A few were worried about safety and image but I was glad to see the amount of support that I did.  Now it’s up to me to get them some information on cost, placement and other options but for the moment I’m choosing to be optimistic.

You know that old saying “You can’t fight city hall” ? Well it’s nice to know that sometimes you don’t have to.

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This entry was posted in Alternate Transportation, Bicycle, Commuting, CT, Society of Cyclists and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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