Does Senator John McCain (R-AZ) hate bicycles? Or is he just using them to make a political statement? According to the League of American Bicyclists, the recently passed jobs bill included several things that could impact bicycling (including $2 billion in rescissions from state DOTs), including a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation program which increases the Passenger Facilities Charge.
For some reason, Senator John McCain (“rather spitefully” according to the League), inserted a provision into the bill that specifically prohibits using those funds to pay for bicycle parking at airports. The League says they weren’t able to strip it out and adds, “We’re not sure what the motivation could possibly be for this action.” Me neither.
Here’s more from the AASHTO Journal:
Bicycle Funding Ban Amendment Approved
An amendment adopted by the Senate to the FAA bill would prohibit airports from using passenger facility charge revenue to build bike storage facilities.
The amendment was offered by Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, and approved by unanimous consent as part of a manager’s package.
“Most airline passengers would agree with me that they would rather see more improvements to ensure faster travel times and safer departures and arrivals,” McCain said on the Senate floor.
That provision is also likely to be debated during a conference committee with the House as several key representatives, including House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-MN, are major supporters of bicycling.
“This is just providing another mode of transportation option to people who travel to and from the airport,” said Oberstar spokesman Jim Berard. He noted bike parking racks at airports are especially useful given the nation’s emphasis on reducing the use of fossil fuels.