Several influential bloggers and pundits are pushing for substantial cutbacks in already-approved Federal programs to make more disaster relief funding available. While I've avoided commenting on the topic, several funded bicycle facilities are under attack as "pork" projects. Many bicycle advocates are defending these projects as absolutely vital to promoting bicycling in the United States.
CycleDog, however, suggested on the Thunderhead Alliance discussion list that some bike facilities funding could be preserved if bike advocates compromised with legislators by offering up a list of some trails we could live without for the time being. He also splashed some cold reality into the list by noting that cyclists are a tiny minority, and took a couple of people to task by reminding them that not all bicyclist advocates are completely in favor of facilities.
I know a couple of the people involved with Thunderhead Alliance and I was disappointed in Ms. Knaup's heavy-handed reaction to Ed's mild criticism. The advocacy group in my community is currently working toward 501C3 incorporation and we're aiming for participation within TA's umbrella. Most of the active members are strong vehicular cyclists. We don't have a strong aversion to facilities and in fact we lobby for them locally when they make sense, but TA's apparently blind push that all facilities of any kind are Good and anyone who thinks differently is an "Enemy" (good grief!) goes beyond the pale.
IMPORTANT: Please post comments for this article at the new CYCLELICIOUS 2.0 version of this page.
Wow, that's pretty crazy.
Personally, if I lived in the US, I wouldn't agree on any cuts of bike things unless they made no sense in the first place; the huge deficit was not caused by bike trails but by wars of aggressions, tax cuts for the rich, pork like the $200 millions bridge to nowhere in alaska and subsidies to corporations (including big oil).
If there's something that has to be cut, it's not bicycling projects.
Otherwise, you're just giving the cons what they want; they "starve the beast" by being crazy irresponsible, and then they say "see, this thing is not sustainable! Now lets cut in the things we never liked in the first place..."
It's crazy to see this appear on this site. I'm on the TA list and just wish people would stop being so dramatic.... the post on cycleicious is pretty one-sided, but really is it necessary to bring that discussion (that TA Board is reviewing) into another realm...