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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Congress IS Changing

If bike advocates treat it as “business as usual,” they are likely to loose.  Remember trickle down economics? The Fed has a huge impact on what also happens at the State and municipal level.  The following is not meant to be the politics of “scare tactics.” It’s just making sure everyone knows what’s ahead and plans for how they want to participate in the decision-making process.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) responded as follows when asked about his new role on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He told Tanya Snyder of Streetsblog Capitol Hill this:

He explained that bike paths shouldn't be part of a transportation bill:

    Streetsblog: I was just in an [Environment and Public Works] Committee hearing and there was some talk about the fact that some small amount of money in the [transportation] reauthorization historically gets used for things like bike trails. Some people think that's waste; some people think biking is a mode of transportation. What do you think?

    Duncan Hunter: I don't think biking should fall under the federal purview of what the Transportation Committee is there for. If a state wants to do it, or local municipality, they can do whatever they want to. But no, because then you have us mandating bike paths, which you don't want either.

    SB: But you're OK with mandating highways?

    DH: Absolutely, yeah. Because that's in the constitution. I don't see riding a bike the same as driving a car or flying an airplane.

    SB: How is it different?

    DH: I think it's more of a recreational thing. That's my opinion.

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