Senator Jim DeMint Wants to Eliminate Bike Stim Funds: Take Action!

Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who said that directing stim funds toward bicycle and hiking infrastructure will not help the economy or create jobs, has gone too far. He and Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, another pro-highway Republican who is no friend of bicyclists, have just proposed an amendment that would kill all stimulus funds for bike and hiking trails. 

In a statement, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) said it shows how short-sighted and out of touch Republicans are:

Investment in bike paths will not only improve our
economy, and take our country in the right direction for our future; it
is precisely the kind of investment the American people want. American
families have indicated time and again in the passage of bond measures
across the country that they favor spending on alternative
transportation, such as bicycles and mass transit, over spending on
more highway capacity.  Americans want a real solution to the economic
crisis, not just a band-aid fix.  These investments will stimulate the
economy in the present and point our nation toward the economic and
environmental realities of the future.

Call or write DeMint and Coburn and tell them what investing in bicycle infrastructure really means:

Coburn’s Washington office: 202-224-5754 or email.

DeMint’s Washington office: 202-224-6121 or email.

And then call Senators Feinstein and Boxer and tell them to kill the amendment:

Feinstein’s Washington office: 202-224-3841 or email.

Boxer’s Washington office: 202-224-3553 or email.

  • Bryan Goebel
  • I sent this email to Senators Demint and Coburn. It’s about road shoulders, which are of benefit to all road users. You may disagree with my disdain for widerness trails, but hey, you’re not going to get creamed by a speeding car if you’re riding a mountain bike in the woods:

    Senator _________:

    I heard you introduced an amendment to strip infrastructure for Bicycles from the stimulus bill. I hope you are only talking about wilderness trails.
    Basic road improvements, such as paved shoulders, are of benefit to all road users, not just bicyclists.
    I would like you to read this list of reasons why roads need paved shoulders:

    Safety – highways with paved shoulders have lower accident rates, as paved shoulders:
    Provide space to make evasive maneuvers;
    Accommodate driver error;
    Add a recovery area to regain control of a vehicle, as well as lateral clearance to roadside objectssuch as guardrail, signs and poles (highways require a “clear zone,” and paved shoulders give thebest recoverable surface);
    Provide space for disabled vehicles to stop or drive slowly;
    Provide increased sight distance for through vehicles and for vehicles entering the roadway (rural:in cut sections or brushy areas;
    urban: in areas with many sight obstructions);
    Contribute to driving ease and reduced driver strain;
    Reduce passing conflicts between motor vehicles and bicyclists and pedestrians;
    Make the crossing pedestrian more visible to motorists; andProvide for storm water discharge farther from the travel lanes, reducing hydroplaning, splash andspray to following vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.
    Capacity –
    highways with paved shoulders can carry more traffic, as paved shoulders:
    Provide more intersection and safe stopping sight distance;
    Allow for easier exiting from travel lanes to side streets and roads (also a safety benefit);
    Provide greater effective turning radius for trucks;
    Provide space for off-tracking of truck’s rear wheels in curved sections;
    Provide space for disabled vehicles, mail delivery and bus stops;
    andProvide space for bicyclists to ride at their own pace;
    Maintenance –
    highways with paved shoulders are easier to maintain, as paved shoulders:
    Provide structural support to the pavement;
    Discharge water further from the travel lanes, reducing the undermining of the base and subgrade;
    Provide space for maintenance operations and snow storage;
    Provide space for portable maintenance signs;
    Facilitate painting of fog lines.

    The Teamsters (truckers) are in favor road widening and paved shoulders, it’s not just for bicycles.

    I hope there is a clear distinction between road improvements and wilderness trails for bicycles, in the wording of this bill.


    James D.
    Long Island, New York

  • That’s embarrassing. Did DeMint’s bike get stolen one too many times when he was a kid?


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