Getting Over The Political and Social Hump

Background Reading



The title for the article above is:

How Two Oklahoma Republicans Restored My Faith in Bike Advocacy

It is a welcome bit of reading as it points out that despite the ‘drama‘ coming out of the GOP in Washington DC and the hysterical rhetoric from the Urban Cycling Movement, there is still hope when ‘real people‘ get together.

There is far too much of the ‘War on Cars‘ mentality that grips our thinking and our policy goal choices. My conviction is that if we can effectively channel our rage into coherent and heartfelt discussions we can change things for the better.

At the ‘end of the day‘ everybody is looking for the same things. We all want to be able to feed our families and enjoy our homes. We want to be able to ride our bikes and drive our cars. In short we want transportation choices that are both convenient and socially responsible.

To that end we all need to keep pushing for higher and cleaner fuels consumption figures and for that matter safer and less harmful fuels. The real genius is not in turning back the clock to the late 1800s and settling in, but rather to find ways to do what we do better.

I don’t think the developing nations are unaware of the fact that long before China began its rise as an industrial power, Britain, Germany and the United States tossed more pollution into the atmosphere around their cities than China ever will. What made these countries great was their ability to create thriving industrial technologies. China wants the same for its people.

Automobiles are far cleaner, quieter and fuel efficient than we could have ever imagined they would be 50 years ago. And we are on the cusp of finding ways to make them safer not just for their occupants but pedestrians and cyclists who wander in front of them.

Now is not the time to go into some sort of funk and declare that we want all automobiles off the road and that we an sustain our economies just fine with mass transit and bicycles. We cannot. The sad fact is that mass transit is the way it is because it has largely be the last refuge of the poor in our cities.

Trying to get the middle class firmly planted on those seats is going to take time. And right now the prospect of paying for it all is dim. But there is always hope that reasonable voice can bring some consensus.

The alternative is a continual struggle each four years for the reigns and a chance to undo all the good done by each previous administration. Now that is a recipe for failure if ever I saw one.