Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 13th, 2009 at 10:04 am
“American’s have repeatedly said that they value more livable communities, transit, bicycling and walking improvements ahead of new highway capacity.”
–The League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists has published a lengthy response to comments made on Sunday by Ohio congressional representative and House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner.
Boehner’s comments have also sparked a lot of response by bike-riding Americans.
On a Sunday morning talk show, Boehner criticized spending on “bike paths” in Obama’s economic stimulus bill as something “Americans are not going to look very kindly on”. He also referred to “widening highways” as being beneficial “for American families”. (Watch the video and read analysis and reader comments here.)
Back in September, the League launched a special section on their website, “Trash Talk” devoted to brushing back these sort of political slams.
In the “What are the facts” section of the response the League writes:
American’s have repeatedly said that they value more livable communities, transit, bicycling and walking improvements ahead of new highway capacity. They also favor fixing our existing infrastructure before adding more to it.
They then share links to several reports that detail Americans support for active transportation investments (including one from the AARP).
The League than lays out what Boehner should have said:
Investment in our communities today should equip us for a sustainable, healthy, and economically viable future where walking, bicycling and transit are viable and attractive ways of getting around our communities. Stimulus funding should be focused on fixing existing infrastructure and building choice back into the transportation system by improving conditions for bicycling, walking.
“Here is one more mom with a big ass who wants more bike paths!”
— A posting from a Facebook group formed in response to Boehner’s comments
The League aren’t the only ones who have responded. One reader has started a Facebook group called, “I bet I can find 1 million families who want big beautiful bike paths.” The group has garnered 40 members overnight. One of them posted this comment: “Well, here is one more mom with a big ass who wants more bike paths!”
Video of the interview is now up on the Rep. Boehner’s official YouTube channel. One reader suggests leaving feedback over there (and I noticed someone has already done so).
Read the League’s full response here. It’s a good example of how to respond with integrity and facts. I only wish the League would have addressed the family issue more directly. Unfortunately they don’t mention families at all in their response.