Bush Administration: Biking and Walking Is Not Transit
It seems the Bush's appointed Transportation Secretary, Mary Peters, has something in common with Mayor Villaraigosa's appointed Department of Transportation head, Gloria Jeff: both are for goods movement, but not always for the people. Luckily, Jeff has not started any major wars with bicyclists like Peters' has, according to an article in Salon, with her current political rhetoric:
In an Aug. 15 appearance on PBS's "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," Peters spoke against a proposal to raise gas taxes to shore up the nation's aging infrastructure. The real problem, the secretary argued, is that only 60 percent of the current money raised by gas taxes goes to highways and bridges. She conveniently neglected to mention that about 30 percent of the money goes to public transit. She then went on to blast congressional earmarks, which dedicate 10 percent of the gas tax to some 6,000 other projects around the country. "There are museums that are being built with that money, bike paths, trails, repairing lighthouses. Those are some of the kind of things that that money is being spent on, as opposed to our infrastructure," she said. The secretary added that projects like bike paths and trails "are really not transportation." [snip]
"... The guy in his Humvee taking his videos back to the video store isn't any more legitimate a trip than the guy on the Raleigh taking his videos back," says Andy Thornley, program director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.