Good news for cyclists and pedestrians in America: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that peds and cyclists will get equal consideration with motorists in future national transportation planning.
Of course, not everyone likes the idea of rethinking the transportation options of America. Read Matthew DeBord of The Big Money blog here. The headline for his post "Transport Secretary Ray LaHood Panders to Cyclists" very nearly made me laugh out loud. Politicians pander to everybody! What's the news here?
DeBord writes essentially that Americans drive cars and that's that. Don't try to change us with your light rail transit and bicycle lanes. We burn gas, and that's the way it will always be. Ah, the low keening of the dinosaur.
I mentioned earlier this month that I was in Edmonton for a weekend. Part of that visit included a ride on the city's Light Rail Transit. I remember when it was built for the Commonwealth Games in 1978. What a waste of money, everyone said. It goes to nowhere, they said. Now it ends in a suburb. It was full of people going downtown, going to the Oilers game, going home. The line has been extended and more extensions are planned. Sure, some of we North Americans will drive cars, probably until the day we die. But more and more of us are going to ride bikes, walk and take mass transit.
Here's hoping the long-range thinkers in this country pay attention to LaHood's example.