Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Legislative Update

This blog post by Transportation Secretary LaHood is worth checking out.  One small highlight:

"Yes, some of those projects include bike paths, a key ingredient in our livability initiative to allow people to live, work, and get around without a car."

Nice to see some support at the federal level!


Don Kuhns said...

I've often wondered why conservatives hate providing funds for recreation trails. Then today, it hit me: They probably have no idea what these trails are actually used for. To see if my theory had merit, I looked up cycling, running, jogging, and walking at the Conservapedia website, and sure enough, there were no entries for any of these. On the other hand, there were many entries for hunting, football, WWE, and NASCAR.

I believe cycling, running, and walking do not exist in the land of conservative wingutia. My guess is that they think trails are used solely by gay people trying to "cruise".

BlogDaCzech said...

Don, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion. I'm conservative and I actively support bike commuting and recreational trails.

There are many conservative that support bike transportation and recreational trails. The tragedy is that some very vocal supporters these concepts have framed them from their own far left worldview. This tends to polarize people into for/against groups.

I think we who are advocating for bike commuting infrastructure would do better our cause if we dropped the 'conservative bashing' rhetoric and focused on promoting the benefits we propose from a more inclusive frame of reference.

Call me crazy, but in Nebraska if you bash conservatives in promoting your cause, you're bashing the majority of the citizens. That doesn't seem like a wise way to garner support.

Don Kuhns said...

That's funny BlogDaCzech, because I asked Governor Heineman last year on a radio phone-in show if he thought that creating alternative transportation infrastructure such as bike trails was a good way to help achieve energy independence. He gave me a flat out "no" answer, and sniggered a bit.

I guess my question betrayed my far left worldview somehow. Would you care to explain what I did wrong in that instance?

BlogDaCzech said...

I can understand where bashing conservatives may gain support in Bolder and Portland. I just don't see it as beneficial to anyone in Omaha (on either side of the political spectrum).

Putting someone else down to make myself look better doesn't strike me as a winning strategy.

In my opinion, stereotyping and putting people on the defensive by bashing their political persuasion damages the cause that I'm attempting to promote.

Don Kuhns said...

I bash conservatives because they deserve it. Whenever I hear someone bitching about a trail being built, that person is invariably a conservative politician or commentator. Who supports conservative politicians and commentators? Who votes for conservative politicians? Who writes the platforms of conservative politicians? Conservatives.

Why do so many conservatives have a problem with cycling? I think it is linked in their minds with environmentalism, Eurocentrism, and hippy-dippy "adventure sports". So you have the cultural stigma which conveniently dovetails into conservatism's symbiotic relationship with fossil fuel interests. You suggest that it's because a lot of cycling/trail advocates are far left meanies like me. I haven't seen that; maybe you could provide some other examples.

Are my satiric methods counterproductive? Maybe, maybe not. My hope is that some people might realise that who you vote for doesn't just affect your taxes.

BlogDaCzech said...

One attracts more bees with honey than with vinegar. But, if the intention is to kill the bees one does attract, use vinegar.

Biker Bob said...

Ok... I get your point Don. Conservatives (as well as any party/group) can often stick to their limited (and sometimes incorrect) view of any given topic. I know I'm guilty of doing that sometimes, but I don't think this excuses the behavior in me or anyone else.

As humans, we can all be a bit lazy sometimes. It is easier to just stick with the party line instead of thinking the argument through from both sides, weighing the pros and cons, and judging for ourselves what is the best path to take forward.

I also agree with BlogDaCzech that the act of ridiculing somebody that has differing opinions than our own seldom encourages them to rethink their position, and often just pushes them even further from any rational discussion of the topic.

Steve said...

We should all get together to discuss our (commuter) bicycling agenda. Perhaps in January? We could set some goals and figure out how to achieve them. Perhaps we can work on reframing cycling issues in ways that a broader spectrum of people around here will understand. We might be able to drink a beer or two at the same time.