Thursday, November 29, 2007

Biking's more than a local matter

The Tallahassee Democrat's political editor, who calls himself the Capitol Curmudgeon, mentions a voter question to Republican presidential candidates in lamenting that we now expect the federal government to run everything and fix all ills:
There was also a woman who wants the next president "to reverse the trend in obesity" (Mike Huckabee could knock that one out of the park) and a cyclist asking, "What will you do to enhance bicycling as a viable means of transportation?"
Like it or not, the curmudgeon has a point -- and we who try to win bicycles a fair part of the public space have to deal with it. We are fortunate that a few pages of progressive legislation remain to counterbalance the deep-set bias skewing choices in city halls and highway districts in favor of motor vehicles to the virtual exclusion of active personal mobility.

One progressive example is the "enhancement" provision in federal highway funding. It is enhancement money that's going to close the "Dadeland Gap," linking Miami-Dade County's two most successful pedestrian/bicycle paths where Kendall meets South Miami. I hate to think how long it would have taken to get this plan onto the drawing board without the federal aid.

The column, by the way, can be found right here.

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