I found this interesting link on BikePortland.org:
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) weighed in on Obama’s big economic stimulus bill during an interview on the CBS News show “Face the Nation” (his comments were also picked up by TheHill.com).
Saying that the stimulus must happen quickly and in a “responsible way” he shared his thoughts on the infrastructure component of the bill (emphasis mine):
“I think there’s a place for infrastructure, but what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways, to ease congestion for American families? Is it to build some buildings that are necessary?…But if we’re talking about beautification projects, or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”
I’m not sure what the link is between “American famillies” and widening highways, but I bet Rep. Boehner would be surprised to know that a growing number of “American families” go by bike (and many more would do so if they had safe “bike paths” available).
This is a familiar tone for Boehner. You might remember when he took a pot-shot at the Bike Commuter Act. He likened it to a piece of pork during a speech against the Energy Bill on the House floor in December of 2007 (the Bike Commuter Act ended up failing in the Senate that time around)
I’m not as outraged as many in the bike community might be. It was a very brief comment by Representative Boehner, and to be fair, bike paths probably won’t generate as much new economic activity as highways or transit. Nevertheless, I really don’t like seeing bike facilities vilified as some kind of symbol of waste.
You can go to about 5:00 into the CBS video to see the comments on infrastructure and bike paths for yourself.