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LaHood gets heat for bike stance (but truckers still like him)

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Headline on Huffington Post isn't quite true.

An Associated Press story about US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood that's making rounds on the Internet today (it's running on Huffington Post and BusinessWeek.com just to name a few) says there's "A backlash is brewing over his new bicycling policy."

There might be a backlash from some who still don't get it, but at least one voice of the trucking industry still thinks LaHood is great -- bike policy and all.

The policy is question is LaHood's recent proclamation that the Obama Administration will preside over the "end of favoring motorized transportation" over non-motorized modes. (more...)

Touting new survey, LaHood helps clear the way for more bikeways

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

"More cars on more roads may not be the best way to move people more effectively."
-- Ray LaHood, US Secretary of Transportation

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is doing more than his part to dismantle our nation's car-centric status-quo. After his "end of favoring motorized transportation" proclamation last month, LaHood is now telling anyone who will listen that the American people have his back.

As validation of his views, LaHood is touting a new survey released by Transportation for America that shows a majority of Americans want options -- other than wider roads for cars -- to get around and relieve congestion.
(more...)

Equality for bikes, now part of the National conversation

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
National Bike Summit-Lobby Day-5
DOT Sec. Ray LaHood's comments at the National
Bike Summit continue to reverberate.
(Photo © J. Maus)

My, what a difference a few years makes.

It was less than three years ago when then US Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters proclaimed that "bike paths" were not a part of transportation infrastructure. Fast forward to early this month when the current DOT chief Ray LaHood issued a strong statement calling for the "end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized." (more...)

LaHood statement marks "end of favoring motorized transportation"

Monday, March 15th, 2010

"This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."
-- US DOT Sec. Ray LaHood

US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced a new set of pro-bicycling and walking policy recommendations meant to inform transportation planning at the state and community level.

He announced them on his blog this morning, after the "dust settled" on his enthusiastic speech at the National Bike Summit Thursday night. Why didn't he announce them in front of 700-plus bike advocates? "The crowd's enthusiasm was so contagious," he wrote, "the idea of introducing a major policy revision in that setting quickly evaporated." (more...)

Ray LaHood rocks Summit crowd with tabletop speech

Thursday, March 11th, 2010
US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood stands atop a table to address Summit attendees at the Congressional Reception held in a Senate ballroom on Capitol Hill.
(Photos © J. Maus)

(more...)

US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood will hold 'Distracted Driving Summit'

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
National Bike Summit - Day two-5
US Dept. of Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Obama's Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that he'll hold a summit in September to "address the dangers of text-messaging and other distractions behind the wheel."

The summit is slated for late September in Washington D.C. and, according to a US DOT press release it will include senior transportation officials, elected officials, safety advocates, law enforcement representatives and academics.

In a statement about the summit, LaHood said, "If it were up to me, I would ban drivers from texting, but unfortunately, laws aren’t always enough." (more...)

US DOT Sec. proposes extension, changes to current transpo. bill

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
U.S. DOT Secretary
Ray LaHood.
(Photo © J. Maus)

U.S. Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a statement today proposing an immediate, 18-month "highway reauthorization" to the current transportation bill.

The proposal is being made in an attempt to replenish the ailing Highway Trust Fund that could run out of cash by late August.

Also, beyond the 18-month mini-reauthorization, LaHood wants to reform the bill to help the federal government, "make better investment decisions with cost-benefit analysis, focus on more investments in metropolitan areas and promote the concept of livability to more closely link home and work."

Perhaps sensing the eyebrows this move might raise on Capitol Hill, LaHood added that, "with the reality of our fiscal environment and the critical demand to address our infrastructure investments in a smarter, more focused approach, we should not rush legislation." (more...)

Blumenauer jumps at chance to hold a "weasel" accountable

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
George Will, Public Weasel No. 1.

Remember just over a year ago, when U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer told the crowd at the Oregon Bike Summit that we need to "Hold the weasels accountable" when their partisan bickering holds up good bike policy?

Now, Blumenauer is doing just that in his efforts to take Newsweek's George Will to task for an anti-Portland screed he penned in a recent column. Will's story was based on faulty assumptions about America's relationship with bikes and cars and it directly insults Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for his (gasp!) love of Portland.
(more...)

Sec. LaHood: "You have a full partner at the US DOT"

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009
U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Ray LaHood addressed the National
Bike Summit this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Ray LaHood, President Obama's Transportation Secretary kicked off the opening plenary at the National Bike Summit this morning.

LaHood, sporting the ubiquitous bike pin, made it clear that he symbolizes a new era of cooperation between the U.S. Department of Transportation and bike and active transportation advocates around the country. As I reported last night, LaHood is focused on the idea of "livable communities".

At the outset of his remarks, he said, "I want all of you to know you have a full partner at the US DOT in working toward livable communities". A key theme of LaHood's remarks was that he and President Obama will work hard help make communities nicer places to walk and bike. LaHood said that he and Obama, "Will work toward an America where bikes are recognized to coexist with other modes and to safely share our roads and bridges." (more...)

Obama at press conference: LaHood has "created opportunities for bikers"

Friday, December 19th, 2008

"He has not only helped rebuild our landscape, he’s helped beautify it by creating opportunities for bikers and runners to enjoy our great outdoors."
-- Obama on LaHood

Congressional Quarterly has the full transcript from today's press conference where President-elect Obama introduced his choice for Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood. Below are some key excerpts interspersed with my thoughts...

This is Obama giving some background (emphasis mine):

"...Our economy boomed in the 20th century when President Eisenhower remade the American landscape by building the interstate highway system.
(more...)

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