Wheeling and Dealing

U.S. Transportation Secretary blames bikes for decay of roads and bridges

Published September 14, 2007 by Grist 

When one rides a bicycle, one is able to transport oneself from place to place — thus, one might call a bicycle "transportation."

But not if one is U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. Despite the fact that 10 percent of all U.S. trips to work, school, and store happen on bike or foot, Peters said in August that bike paths "are really not transportation." She strongly opposes increasing gas taxes to pay for aging infrastructure; instead, she has implied that the 1.5 percent cut of the gas tax that goes to bike paths and walking trails is stealing tax money from more worthy roads and bridges. What may have slipped her mind: $1 billion in bridge-repair funding was sent back to the feds unspent by state departments of transportation in 2006. So we'd ask, Mary, that you not meddle with the pedal.