Transportation Secretary Mary Peters is taking a lot of heat from cycling advocates for citing bicycle infrastructure funding for the deteriorating state of the country's highways and bridges.
"Imagine you're the federal official in the Bush administration charged with overseeing the nation's transportation infrastructure. A major bridge collapses on an interstate highway during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring an additional 100. Whom to blame? How about the nation's bicyclists and pedestrians!"
"The Minneapolis bridge collapse on Aug. 1 led Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters to publicly reflect on federal transportation spending priorities and conclude that those greedy bicyclists and pedestrians, not to mention museumgoers and historic preservationists, hog too much of the billions of federal dollars raised by the gas tax, money that should go to pave highways and bridges. [In fact, only about 1.5 percent of federal transportation dollars go to fund bike paths and walking trails.] Better still, Peters, a 2006 Bush appointee, apparently doesn't see biking and walking paths as part of transportation infrastructure at all."
"Bike paths are not infrastructure? "There are hundreds of thousands of people who ride to work, and millions who walk to work every day, and the idea [that] that isn't transportation is ludicrous," says Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, who has biked to work for almost 20 years on a path paid for with federal dollars. Clarke fired off an angry letter to Peters, and invited the 25,000 members of his organization around the country to do the same."