Is Obama The Bike Candidate?

Barack Obama wants YOU, cyclist!

Let’s be clear: at VBF we’re non-partisan in the Republican vs. Democrat sense. Both are well-represented on our Board. The only “party” we belong to is the pro-bicycling one!

Many of you may be asking, “Which candidate best represents our interests as cyclists? Is Obama the bike candidate?

Last week Obama met with bike industry leaders , and went on a bike ride, seizing the usual photo ops. Fox News has more on Obama’s adventures in bicycling.

But how much of this is lip service, and how much is geunine concern for bicycling and transportation issues? As The Cycling Dude reports, Obama does address these topics, albeit briefly, in his campaign material. From page 3 of Obama’s transportation fact sheet (PDF):

Strengthen Metropolitan Planning to Cut Down Traffic Congestion:

Our communities will better serve all of their residents if we are able to leave our cars, to walk, bicycle and have access other transportation alternatives.

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.

Then from page 9 of Obama’s energy fact sheet (PDF):

Build More Livable and Sustainable Communities: Over the longer term, we know that the amount of fuel we will use is directly related to our land use decisions and development patterns, much ofwhich have been organized around the principle of cheap gasoline. Barack Obama believes that wemust move beyond our simple fixation of investing so many of our transportation dollars in serving drivers and that we must make more investments that make it easier for us to walk, bicycle and access other transportation alternatives.

  • Reform Federal Transportation Funding: 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.
  • Require States to Plan for Energy Conservation: Current law simply asks governors and their state Departments of Transportation to “consider” energy conservation as a condition of receiving federal transportation dollars. As president, Obama will require governors and local leaders in our metropolitan areas to make “energy conservation” a required part of their planning for the expenditure of federal transportation funds.

Thanks again to Kiril Kundurazieff, aka The Cycling Dude, for turning this up.

We’re still waiting to hear anything from Senator McCain about bicycling and transportation, besides his temporary gas tax holiday. Who knows, maybe he has something brilliant up his sleeve. Let us know if you find it!

Finally, what’s this “Barack Obama is your new bicycle” stuff going around the internet? Apparently it’s just for fun.

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3 comments… add one

  • Thanks for the link, and the informative follow-up.

    As one who is familiar with my neck of the woods you will be amused to learn that the cyclist in the foreground of the road in my header spent years on another website, trying to get off the Santa Ana River Bicycle Trail, until my Blog Guru helped me rescue him 5 years ago, and now he happily pedals both the Newport Back Bay, and the new Mountains to the Sea Trail that the road on the south side of the Bay is the western most leg of. ;-D

  • Let’s hope he can ride a bike better than he can roll a BOWLING BALL.

  • Much of what Obama talks about is personal and family values. As well he talks about connections and communication with others. But he tends to leave out what he will do as president. And what he does admit to he changes his mind later. I think much of Obama’s words are lip service. Also remember Obama is a lawyer and a masters of perception. The news media does not help either since they follow Obama around and report on everything he does. When McCain is more in the publics eye with all his town hall meetings but you hear nothing. The media is just not covering both sides equally. Obama comes accross as talk with little action. The is no proof of what Obama stands for. Obama is a man of mistory with lots of media coverage.

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