-By Warner Todd Huston
Apparently Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood thinks he lives in France, or maybe Amsterdam, or some such tiny, closed-in country. That is the only conclusion I can come to with his idiotic statements recently given to CNSNews. On May 3, LaHood announced a snazzy, wondermous, neato and momentous “sea change” in American transportation, a great idea whose time had come. And that great idea was: Everyone should ride a bike to work.
Most Americans live between 10 and 25 miles away from their places of work so Americans spend at least a half hour one way in their cars going to work. In 2005, for instance, it was estimated by the federal government that the average drive-time for America’s workers was 24.3 minutes. Adding the rest of the day’s traveling needs, a University of California study found that we spend some 101 minutes a day driving.
With all that distance to cover, the question becomes, how the heck can we expect Americans to use bikes for commutes to work? No matter how differently Ray LaHood configures the roads, America is simply too wide open to make it efficacious to daily ride a bike to work. I mean, is this fool expecting people to add hours and hours to their transportation time every day? Who has time for that nonsense?
I hate to break it to ya, Ray, baby, but this ain’t Europe where no one lives more than 2 miles away from work or places for shopping!
Then you have to add the fact that a large portion of the United States has weather that precludes riding bikes for much of the year. I am in Chicago, for instance, and for half the year when it isn’t 20 below zero there is three feet of snow on the ground. The best bike paths in the world aren’t going to make riding a bike through three feet of snow possible.
And yet, this LaHood fellow is claiming that he’s going to penalize any state whose transportation plans don’t include these useless and foolish provisions for bicycles.
“We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians,” LaHood wrote.
Lordy save us from the Nanny state this Illinois hustler is fronting for, will ya?
Is it inherently bad to make provisions in road construction plans for bicycles? Of course it isn’t. But to universally force such provisions on every road project in the country whether it makes sense to include bikes in those plans or not is just plain idiotic. But it does fit the nanny state, one size fits all foolishness of this administration.
Ray LaHood is one of those buttinski types that needs to find make-work in order to make himself feel useful. That being the case let me suggest he resign from government and become a bagger at a grocery store. At least there his efforts to be useful will be wanted.