Obama for Cyclists?


Well done to Obama!

I heard the news at work (someone told me from another office). I said it was a shame my colleague was over there as we could have discussed this at work, in depth (oops!).

I haven’t been following the news much because:

a) I don’t trust the US electoral system b) The spin that went on and on and.. on! I got pretty much sick of it, particularly, as I think they may be just ‘talk and no action’.

Five years just isn’t enough to fix the mess Bush has made.

I’d be interested in what Michael Moore has to say.

Anyway, here’s ‘Obama’ from an cyclist’s point of view, written a while ago, an excerpt from http://www.carectomy.com:-

“Even after Super-Duper Tuesday, the Democratic run to the national election remains locked in a dead heat between senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Political candidates are no strangers to soliciting votes from special interest groups. They’ll target religious denominations, economic classes, races, sexes… you name it.

Cyclists don’t typically make it anywhere near that list of targets. In spite of the huge number of cyclists in the U.S. (reports say as many as 80 million – although I’m sure many aren’t regular riders), candidates don’t consider them as a cohesive demographic. According to the Portland, Oregon-based C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change Thru Live Exchange) Barack Obama is the only Democratic candidate who has explicitly encouraged bicycle transportation during the lead-up to the election. He’s also looking to improve the nation’s mass transit systems.

From Barack’s energy platform, via C.I.C.L.E.:

As president, Barack Obama will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account. Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks, and he will also re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. Building more livable and sustainable communities will not only reduce the amount of time individuals spent commuting, but will also have significant benefits to air quality, public health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Don’t expect any of the candidates to pander to bike commuters. However, the bikers are listening – bikers are latching onto Obama’s words. For example, Illuminate LA just hosted a Bike the Vote event in support of Obama. In an election as hotly contested as this Democratic primary, cyclists’ votes could make a difference.

As for the Republicans, although not exactly an endorsement for a national cycling infrastructure, Mike Huckabee did mention that he “rides his bike to the grocery store.”

+++

I think one of the problems with the US system is that there just aren’t enough parties. I mean where is the Green Party? They would do more for cyclists. It also doesn’t have proportional representation either, like many English speaking countries. However, having a Democrat for the President is still good and better than Bush. Good for people round the world too and good that he will close Guantanamo Bay. Interesting times ahead.

I am looking forward to the changes, although I expect the US will complain when these changes are implemented!

I will also be interested in new laws that Obama implements to help cyclists and improve their rights and protection. I have heard nothing about this and hardly anything about the environment.

Boy, the Americans will get hell of a shock when they may walk to their postbox outside the house instead of taking the car. (Yeah, right.. in 5 years time there will be a Republican!). They just won’t be having it.

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