Four House Republicans give a nod to biking, walking
Are Congressional Republicans moving beyond blanket opposition to the Obama administration? Here’s an interesting signal: Four GOP House members signed a letter praising Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for putting bikers and walkers on equal footing with autos in transportation planning.
Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Michael McCaul (TX), Jack Kingston (GA), and Steven LaTourette (OH) joined 24 Democratic colleagues in giving a shout-out to LaHood’s newsmaking policy shift:
We recognize, and appreciate, that your statement was not about providing equal amounts of funding to all forms of transportation, or prioritizing bicycling and walking over other transportation modes such as trucking, freight or public transit. Instead, your commitment to consider all modes clarified that to give citizens a choice, rather than forcing them into their car, we must make sure that bicycling and walking are as safe and convenient as other modes. [Full text]
We’ve reported on LaHood’s March statement the auto-only era of federal transportation planning is finished. (“People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning,” he said.)
He drew a flurry of comments from ticked-off reps in auto and transport industries, so it’s encouraging that these GOP lawmakers are taking a more nuanced view.
Oh, and happy Bike to Work Day, y’all.
(Hat tip to Elena Schor at Streetsblog.)