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Obama: “Everyone benefits if we can leave our cars, walk, bicycle…”

Posted by on November 19th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

“I will work to provide states and local governments with the resources they need to address sprawl and create more livable communities.”
— President-elect Obama, in a letter to T4 America

President-elect Barack Obama has responded to an online petition circulated by national advocacy group Transportation For America (remember them?).

T4 America reported on their blog today that 3,300 people signed onto a petition that was delivered to Senators John McCain and Barack Obama before their final debate back in October. The petition urged them to tell T4 America their plans for, “keeping America moving and creating new jobs by investing in our critical transportation system and infrastructure.”

Here’s a snip from the petition letter:

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“We need our next president to lead an initiative to invest in public transit, high-speed trains, places to bike and walk, and green innovation. We need a president with a plan that can put millions to work in jobs that can’t be outsourced, bring down the costs of travel, and create a sustainable infrastructure that will keep America on the cutting edge.”

And here’s how President-elect Obama responded (emphasis mine):

Obama during the campaign.
(Photo: Ethan Jewett/Stickeen)

“…Everyone benefits if we can leave our cars, walk, bicycle and access other transportation alternatives. I agree that we can stop wasteful spending and save Americans money, and as president, I will re- evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account.

I will build upon my efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks. And as president, I will work to provide states and local governments with the resources they need to address sprawl and create more livable communities.”

Read Obama’s full, two-page response here.

Unfortunately, Obama wrote these words before he was elected. Let’s hope that he stays true to these words as he and Congress hammer out the 2009 Transportation bill…and if he doesn’t, we’ll respond with more than just an online petition.

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  • K'Tesh November 19, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    2nd on the let’s see if he will carry through with his plan…

    We can hope!

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  • El Biciclero November 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    But I though everyone benefited if we bought more cars…???

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  • jim November 19, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    We need cars to get to work at those bicycle factories

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  • tim November 20, 2008 at 12:27 am


    He wants to give 25 billion to the auto makers.

    Anyone want to bet if Jesus ……I mean Obama…..will fund non motorized transportation to a equal amount?

    ha ha ha

    The sad truth is that Bush and the republican congress probably spent more than these guys will and that is only because their spending was completely out of control in general.

    At the end of the day I do not actually think that Obama is paying us anymore than lip service much like any politician would.

    All (almost) say how great bicycling is etc. etc. etc.

    Bail out GM!!! Lets hope the next stimulus package (money from China!) comes with a stipulation that we all have to use it to buy a new GM complete with payments!!

    USA! Go Jesus.

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  • Darren November 20, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Why are all the early posts (typcially) so cycnical?

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  • A-dub November 20, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Jim, I get what you have against light rail but what is the problem with bikes?

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  • bahueh November 20, 2008 at 9:06 am

    dont’ kid yourself, Jim, you’re too good to work at a dirty bike factory…

    seems people here want to mix as many nonrelated things as they can together into one big frustrated view on life…

    less bitching…more riding.

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  • Pete November 20, 2008 at 10:46 am

    tim (#4): “He wants to give 25 billion to the auto makers.”

    I’ve never seen a quote saying that’s what Obama wants. Are you sure?

    The automakers applied to Congress for that funding, their second round, and weren’t well-received after showing up in private jets “for security reasons” (they said). They already had $25B earmarked as part of the bailout plan, but aren’t having much luck getting more (as reported in last night’s news).

    China already owns around 70% of US debt. One of the reasons for this economic meltdown is that international flow of money into the US (especially when the dollar was depreciated) has stopped.

    I agree with you on the lip-service thing, but standing on front of the nation saying we should be conserving energy is a far sight better than standing in front of the nation saying we’re personally responsible for high unemployment because we have to go out and consume more in order to keep the economy growing. While a president has little control over the many factors that drive legislation and policy, he indeed has the loudest voice in setting agenda and direction.

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  • El Biciclero November 20, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Lip service or no, at least he speaks the truth on this issue. In public. And I’m not even a big fan of Barack H. Christ…

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  • webfoot flyer November 20, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Enjoy Neil Young’s input on the matter


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  • jim November 20, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Living in an Obamanation I will be most certainly be cynical. What else is left? I guess at ths time prayer

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  • jim November 20, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Oh and I do like bikes in spite of an ocasional rant…

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