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David Fiedler

What Americans Want According to Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation

By April 12, 2010

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"[W]hat Americans want is to get out of their cars, and get out of congestion, and have opportunities for more transit, more light rail, more buses, and some communities are going to street cars. [M]any communities want the opportunity on the weekends and during the week to have the chance to bike to work, to bike to the store, to spend time with their family on a bike."

--From a New York Times interview published last week with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Related Links

  • Ray LaHood announces a "sea change in policy," calling it the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized, and that walking and bicycling should be treated as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Flashback: Mary Peters, previous DOT boss, says bikes are not transportation
  • Comments

    April 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    (1) redleg says:

    This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of population density in the US, and a favoring of urban populations over suburban or rural. How exactly is light rail going to work to do the grocery shopping for a family of four? How do people on Cape Cod bike to work in Boston? How do you make these things work in Montana? Think about the Wal-Mart business model – many of their stores are in the middle of vast, unserved areas, so folks drive multiple hours to go shop. How does the Secretary’s proposals aid those people? And how the heck do you add bike lanes to historic districts in DC? How do you handle sprawling cities like Dallas and Atlanta?

    This is all posturing that isn’t founded in the real world. Public transportation is never cost effective, as people are too busy rushing around to meet restrictive train and bus timetables (writing this as I wait two hours for a train due to Amtrak’s schedule – BTW, thanks to you all for subsidizing my train fare today with your tax dollars). Health care costs are rising as our population gets older – do we think an aging population is more likely to bike to work, or less? Do we tell grandma that she has to move out of her house because we are going to make driving onerously expensive so as to force mass transportation usage, so she needs to move to a place where she can catch a bus?

    All for requiring future construction to accomodate all modes of transit, and for smart increases in public transportation. But this is all blue skies and not in touch with reality.

    April 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm
    (2) NoRacer says:

    Those who can will. Those who can’t won’t.

    Some will try something new. Others won’t.

    No big deal.

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