Take Action: Support a Smart Stimulus Bill

From the Environmental Defense Fund:

Congress is busy drafting an economic stimulus bill. The bill will include tens of billions of dollars in transportation investments, and hundreds of billions in other spending.

Saving and creating jobs is an urgent national priority. But there is a right way to do this and a wrong way.

We need to create jobs now by building the smarter, more efficient transportation and infrastructure system America will need in the 21st century, not throw money at “bridges to nowhere” projects that will set back our efforts to create long-term, environmentally sustainable growth.

Please send an email to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid urging them to support a smart stimulus package.

Send a letter supporting investment in sustainable transportation.

Hyland Woods

Gratuitous pretty bike shot.

Eco Agents


Eco Agents

[via bike hugger]

LAB Responds to Boehner

In their “Who’s Trash Talking Bikes” column, the League of American Bicyclists responded to Minority Leader Boehner’s recent anti-bike comments.

American’s have repeatedly said that they value more livable communities, transit, bicycling and walking improvements ahead of new highway capacity. They also favor fixing our existing infrastructure before adding more to it.

Read the full story here

Earl Blumenauer in the NYT

Photo © Stirling Elmendorf, NYT

In yesterday’s New York Times:

PORTLAND, Ore. —For years, Earl Blumenauer has been on a mission, and now his work is paying off. He can tell by the way some things are deteriorating around here.

“People are flying through stop signs on bikes,” Mr. Blumenauer said. “We are seeing in Portland bike congestion. You’ll see people biking across the river on a pedestrian bridge. They are just chock-a-block.”

Mr. Blumenauer, a passionate advocate of cycling as a remedy for everything from climate change to obesity, represents most of Portland in Congress, where he is the founder and proprietor of the 180 (plus or minus)-member Congressional Bicycle Caucus. Long regarded in some quarters as quixotic, the caucus has come into its own as hard times, climate concerns, gyrating gas prices and worries about fitness turn people away from their cars and toward their bikes.

Read the full story in the NYT

Widening highways?

Here’s Minority Leader Boehner on the stimulus package:

“I think there’s a place for infrastructure, but what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways, to ease congestion for American families? Is it to build some buildings that are necessary?” He stated. “But if we’re talking about beautification projects, or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”

Who are these Americans anyway, these anti-bike path people? Some of us Americans think it’s downright patriotic to invest in infrastructure that would help ease our dependence on foreign oil. “Infrastructure to widen highways” is surely not the answer to our problems!

Read more in The Hill


Alan, looking a little peaked

Sometimes I’m envious of my car-free friends. They don’t have the option of taking the car when they’re not feeling well, or when the weather is nasty, or just because they’re feeling lazy. If they don’t ride their bike, they’re only left with other green options such as public transit, car-pooling, or walking. Because our family is only car-lite*, we can always fall back on the car, so we have to be diligent and resist the temptation to use it when we don’t really need to.

My wife, ever the optimist, suggested we wait and see how I felt in the afternoon before we made a decision. She then proceeded to load me up with Airborne and Tylenol (I was starting to get the impression that she really wanted to go for a ride).

The car was looking particularly enticing this weekend. I’ve been working lots of overtime, I was feeling exhausted, and I started coming down with something Saturday evening. You know the feeling, it starts with a little tickle in your throat that you write off to allergies. Then you notice a little stiffness in your neck that, before you realize what’s happening, explodes into a full-blown sinus headache. We had a plan to run errands on the bikes Sunday afternoon, but by Sunday morning I was tired and sick, and it was looking doubtful.

My wife, ever the optimist, suggested we wait and see how I felt in the afternoon before we made a decision. She then proceeded to load me up with Airborne and Tylenol (I was starting to get the impression that she really wanted to go for a ride). By mid-afternoon, the pharmaceuticals were working their magic and I wasn’t feeling half bad, so we ended up making that errand run on the bikes afterall. We rode a bit slower than usual, and I griped and moaned a bit more than usual, but it was still a lovely ride and the car stayed home in the garage.

I’m glad we resisted temptation and I’m happy to report that I’m no worse for the wear. The payoff is that it was a gorgeous winter evening and we experienced many sights, sounds, and smells we would have otherwise missed.

*I define “car-lite” as having one car in the family that is only used when “necessary”. It’s for the individual to determine what is defined as necessary.

© 2011 EcoVelo™