Perhaps It’s Time YouCut Eric Cantor….

Once again, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA (7th), is up to his old tricks.  As if he didn’t wreak enough havoc on America’s economy by refusing to negotiate with the Administration last week, he’s once again picking on bicycling.

This time, Cantor has bike sharing on his YouCut list.

Considering that the largest university in Virginia, Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University, is about to add a bike share program, you would think that a politician in touch with his home base might think twice before doing something like this.

Closer to Cantor’s home in DC, Capital Bikeshare has just announced additional stations and bikes to cope with increasing demand. This bike-sharing network, founded by Arlington County and the District, has grown to include more than 13,000 members who have access to about 1,100 bikes at 110 stations.

From a July 27 Washington Post article:

…membership in the program that offers bikes for trips steadily growing, the city will also increase the size of 18 docking stations and add 265 more bikes.

Does that sound like a failed program?  

Right now, final plans are being made for Richmond’s bid to land the 2015 World Cycling Championships — which, if successful, will add an estimated $125M to the local economy. It must really make the organizers feel good when the hometown’s congressman is clearly anti-bike.  Thanks Eric!

Furthermore, the City of Richmond — which is in Cantor’s district — has just named a new Bicycling, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator, and plans to add 80 miles of bike lanes in the next year. This past fall, the  Mayor’s Bike  Commission  also surveyed over 1200 citizens of Central Virginia — squarely in Mr. Cantor’s district. 97.6% said making Richmond a bikeable, walkable city was, “very important” or “important”.


Perhaps if Mr. Cantor would stick his head out of the back window of his chauffeur-driven, government-funded SUV to look around DC, or, heaven forbid, talk with some of his constituents, he wouldn’t be going off on such crazy tangents.

Clearly, Mr. Cantor is too busy playing hardball national politics to even care about the desires of his constituents.

November is rapidly approaching. YouCut might take on a whole new meaning for Eric Cantor if his constituents in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District can let him know — from the voting booth — that we’re tired of his anti-bike, anti-Richmond shenanigans.

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12 comments… add one
  • I simply don’t understand how common people elect people who have nothing in common with them.

  • Cantor isn’t going anywhere. The representative for Goldman Sachs resides in a heavily gerrymandered district, which happens to be mine. While I won’t vote for him, plenty of others will.

    For a long time, he has been actively hostile to cyclists, and I don’t see this changing in any way. Nor are we about to get rid him. He’s just a fact on the ground.

  • Kirk is right; Cantor has a history of this:

  • I agree cutting this program isn’t right, but get the facts straight. Cantor’s district only covers a small portion of the City of Richmond, and that portion does NOT include VCU or the area proposed for the cycling championships. The vast majority of Cantor’s district is outside of the city, in high traffic suburban areas and rural areas, aka, areas where biking or walking is not common and often not practical (due to distance issues).

    Again, I think the bike sharing program is a great one, and I think Cantor’s view to cut it is short-sighted because a large portion of his district benefits from activities in the City of Richmond, but the facts of this article remain incorrect — none of the locations or initiatives referenced are in his district; his district only has a small area of Richmond. The areas of the City of Richmond referenced in this article are in District 3 (Robert Scott).

  • Think:

    We stand by the facts.

    Though you may not be aware of it, the University of Richmond – located in Cantor’s District – started a bikeshare program over a year ago which, has been successful and even expanded upon. There are currently discussions in the region for other programs as well.

    I would also point out that your comment, “…majority of Cantor’s district is outside of the city, in high traffic suburban areas and rural areas, aka, areas where biking or walking is not common ” This is absolutely wrong; the local Richmond bike club – with over 1000 members- rides primarily in Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield and Goochland – squarely in Cantor’s district – and I think you’d that many of these riders are, in fact his constituents. The Richmond area and surrounding counties are a bike mecca and many improvements are now being made to make some roads more accommodating. That’s another story.

    Regarding the World Championships, there are an estimated 400,000 spectators who will attend these races should we win the bid. Do you think they will all be eating, sleeping and spending their dollars in downtown Richmond? The fact is this event could be the biggest sporting event to ever be held in the region. The exposure the area receives from visitors from around the world will benefit not only central Virginia but the entire Commonwealth.

    The bottom line is Mr. Cantor has been less than enthusiastic about supporting bike issues in the past (see the above referenced Roanoke Times Article and I think he would find that many citizens in Central Virginia and in his district support making our communities more bike and pedestrian friendly – including bikeshare programs like the U of R Green Bikes, the proposed VCU bikeshare and Capital Bikeshare – and they expect more from their Representative.

  • My husband is a biker, belongs to several local bike groups, and is very outspoken in favor of the bike sharing concept, and he’s actually the one who pointed out the article to me, citing how the poorly written article with misleading statements and generalizations actually hurts the respect bikers are trying so hard to gain in the Richmond area.

  • Cantor is not up for election November 2011. 2012 is far off at this point.

  • If you want to ride a bicyle thats great. An inexpensive mode of transportation and good exercise. But, don’t expect the taxpayer to provide money for you to do so. Buy or rent your own! Be accountable for yourself!

  • A car is a convenient mode of transportation. But, don’t expect the taxpayers to provide you money for you to drive it somewhere. Build or rent your own roads. Be accountable for yourself!

    Or perhaps I could say the same about the subsidized oil used for gasoline and other purposes.

    David, do not pretend that subsidized bicycle rental projects are the only expense of taxpayer money. It is just one of many projects an elected and accountable government attempts in order to solve a collective problem of transportation — whether personal, freight, commuter, or other. It is disingenuous to argue that this is an unusual government expenditure. If you disagree with it, there are other reasons to argue against it. But with your line of reasoning, you really need to spend more of your effort fighting oil exploration subsidies, highway maintenance and construction, power facility subsidies, military expenditures, bond issuance, and other much larger uses of government moneys and not tiny subsidies that can create small businesses that have the potential to become profitable.

  • David, let’s not kid ourselves. The car is heavily subsidised. I’ve been paying property and other taxes in the city of RVA for a very long, long time, and a chunk of that goes to subsidy for our motorized bretheren. Very little, if any, has gone to my prefered mode of transport, the bicycle.

    Please take the time to swallow a few numbers. The state gas tax pulls in about 800 million a year. VDOTs entire yearly budget, as a few years back, was 3.2 billion. It’s a bit larger now, thanks to irresponsible borrowing by the current state admin, who prefer to kick the can down the road as far as possible. Further, very little in the way of monies from state tax filters down to localities for upkeep of local and secondary roads; last year, most localites only recieved payments from utility right of ways, nothing else.

    You can talk all you want about the taxpayer providing a subsidy for cyclists. As far as I’m concerned, it would be an improvement, given that we currently subsidize our motoring friends to the hilt. You want to complain, talk to Cantor about this– as well as the externalities with which we support the car– but please, please, don’t talk to us about some imagined taxpayer subsidy for cyclists. It isn’t there, and you can’t really complain about it until you attack the far larger and more wasteful subsidy for the automobile.

    However, talking to Cantor is pretty much like talking to a wall, or a rock.

  • Ummm, David? It’s your turn… 🙂

  • To Kirk Obrien.. While you’re in a heavily gerrymandered district it need not be a foregone conclusion that a congressman who neglects his district, openly refuses to see his constituents or to hear them, calls his unemployed constituents a “distraction”, and leads the effort to tie up the United States Congress so that no one, including his constituents, is getting their business done should be reelected. What it will take is someone in that district getting a campaign going to point out to the Republicans in the district how ill-served they are by Mr. Cantor. Every Social Security recipient in the district is open to be turned off voting for him. Get out there and find a competent Democrat to oppose him.. a middle -of-the-road or even right wing Blue Dog Democrat ought to be able to do it if they really try. Writing off a congressional district and conceding it to anyone is a terrible thing to do.

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