Mini-Rant About Transportation Funding

I want to touch on a recent news story where US Representative Duncan Hunter of California said having bicycle funding in the transportation bill is unconstitutional. The heart of Representative Hunter’s statement comes from thinking cycling is recreational rather than transportation. Without getting into Constitutional law which I don’t feel qualified to discuss, I would like to comment on these ideas.

Many of us who ride for transportation would dispute that cycling is just recreational. Also a significant number of miles people drive in cars, including me, are also recreational. If I drive back and forth to work all week that is about 100 miles. If I drive to the beach of mountains for the weekend that is 200-400 miles.

I poked around a little and found some things in the documents our country is built on that I would interpret to cover the support of cycling infrastructure. The Declaration of Independence includes the words pursuit of happiness. All the cyclists I know riding for transportation would say that cycling gives them more happiness than driving. The Declaration of Independence goes on to say government should organize its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. So if the government is building transportation infrastructure it seems imperative to consider the safety of all users. After all we don’t let the truckers just do what they want. There are plenty of rules to make their use of the transportation network safer. The same is true of trains and planes.

It seems like I could go on and on, but I will stop here and see if others would like to comment.

On a related note, Tom Bowden had an article on Commute By Bikediscussing How to Talk About Cycling to a Conservative that is worth a read.

  • rapunzel

    For the record, I own a 12yo car.  It’s nice.  It’s clean.  It functions well.  However given the choice: keep my car and fix it whenever needed and buy a new bike …or buy a new car?  I’ll take a new, dream bicycle over a new, dream car any day of the week.  (Although, I will say that the Tesla Coupe [an EV] does make my eyes twinkle a bit.)

    I wonder who is Rep Hunter’s biggest lobbyist/campaign contributor and in what industry they are.  That’s usually your biggest “tell”.