Frequent readers of Commute by Bike will know that we try very hard to be bike-partisan here. I like to think of this blog as a safe haven for cyclists of all political persuasions. I love the kum-bike-ya moments when I can find them.
Lately, though, the Republicans in Congress are making it harder and harder to find those kum-bike-ya moments.
Last month we celebrated the extension of the Transportation Bill with it’s existing Bike/Ped funding. But that only kicked the can down the road to have the same fight all over again.
The actual reason that gas tax revenues aren’t meeting demand for infrastructure improvements is that Congress hasn’t raised the tax since 1993, so its value has been eaten up by inflation. But no matter. Targeting bike programs to try to tame the federal budget seems to fall in line with the GOP’s belief that the whole deficit problem could be solved if we just got rid of NPR and Planned Parenthood. It’s an ideological battle rather than a viable budget solution.
And for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been sitting on this article wondering when would be the right time to bring it to our readers. “William F. Buckley Jr.: Ahead of his time” from The Richmond Times-Dispatch, reminding us that it wasn’t always knee-jerk opposition from the Right; reminding us that a late conservative icon — reviled in his time by the Left — now seems so warm and cuddly in hindsight:
Long before others, principally boomers and environmentalists, discovered the civic virtues of cycling as a mode of transportation, Buckley proposed bike trails in Manhattan. He even spoke of elevated bikeways. He envisioned residents cycling to work and for exercise.
Buckley remembered that conservatism and environmental stewardship are not incompatible…”
By the way: Over there on the right rail of this Website, is a news feed called Bike Commuter News. That is a relic left to us by our ancestors at Commute by Bike. It’s where I found the Mother Jones article. Whoever set up that news search was brilliant. Since we’ve acquired Commute by Bike, we’ve been afraid to touch it, or even delve into it’s secrets for fear we might break it. If you come to Commute by Bike on a regular basis, I recommend taking a glance at those articles. If you find something great that no other bike blog has yet covered, I can’t take any credit for it.