Experts Weigh in on Question of Bike-Car Equality

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently wrote on his blog that bicyclists would no longer be overlooked by federal transportation policy. National Journal asks its panel of experts whether cars and bikes should be treated equally.

"LaHood called the new policy a 'sea change,' but is it a good one? Should non-motorized modes of transportation be treated as equal to other modes, particularly when modes like driving and mass transit are at least partially, if not primarily, self-funded? Or is it the essence of DOT's evolving 21st-century mission to give people more mobility options that, according to LaHood, are relatively fast and inexpensive to build, are environmentally sustainable, reduce travel costs, improve safety and public health, and 'reconnect citizens with their communities'?"

Responses from National Journal's panel of transportation experts include Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists, Bill Graves, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, and Greg Cohen, President and CEO of the American Highway Users Alliance.

Full Story: Should Bikes And Cars Be Treated Equally?

Comments

Comments

Who Is Self-Funded?

"Should non-motorized modes of transportation be treated as equal to other modes, particularly when modes like driving and mass transit are at least partially, if not primarily, self-funded?"

I used to commute to work by bicycle, and I got virtually no subsidy. I rode on city streets paid for by property taxes and other city taxes; I paid about as much in taxes as everyone else for paving and maintaining the streets, but I used much less street space than people who drive.

Now I commute to work by commuter rail. I estimate that I get a subsidy of about $15 per round trip.

I won't even try to estimate the subsidies to people who drive cars to work, which would include the external costs of driving that we all bear in addition to direct subsidies such as free parking.

How can this writer be so deluded as to think that other modes are self-funded and bicycles are not? Other modes actually get much, much larger subsidies.

Charles Siegel

Self-funding bicycles

We didn't go to war recently to secure energy to turn my pedals over and over, unless you count the oil as going to food, so I'm not sure who is peddling the falsehood of cars being self-funded. Oil is highly subsidized.

Best,

D

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