High On Bike

A Bellinghamster On Wheels

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State Senate Says No Money for Transportation Safety

After the collapse of the I-5 Bridge in Burlington and the chaos it created don’t you think that improvements to our transportation infrastructure would be on top list of legislative priorities? Not! In a stunning display of lets-not-spend-revenue-on-important-stuff, the Washington State Senate just released its proposal for new transportation revenue that increases the gas tax by 10.5 cents to raise $8.4 billion and spends nothing ($0.00) on infrastructure, transit, bicycling, and pedestrians.

This from the Bicycle Alliance of Washington:

This bad proposal fails to meet the most basic needs to help Washingtonians to get safely to wherever they need to go. Public polling shows time and time again that Washington voters support fixing our broken roads and bridges and funding transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure more than new highways. But this new proposal would spend $3.6 billion on new mega-highway expansions and $0 on transit, bicycling, and pedestrians. This is outrageous.

Great! Let’s build a more roads, encourage as many trucks and cars to be on the road as possible, while keeping our fingers crossed that the bridges actually hold. As an avid cyclist, sometime pedestrian, and admitted gephyrophobe, I want the state to spend at least something on making it safer to ride, walk, and cross bridges. The fact that nobody was killed when the I-5 bridge came a-tumblin’-down is somewhat of a miracle and we probably won’t be so lucky the next time.



A Bicycle Activist is Born

Every Bicycle CountsIt’s another rainy morning so I’m sitting in my living room with a cup of coffee alternately typing on my iPad, watching the hummingbirds tussle over the feeder outside our window, and contemplating this past week’s events which primarily consisted of me hacking my lungs up. As with all things, this cough is coming to an end and I’m hoping for some nicer weather tomorrow so I can get back on my bike. One if the few things I did accomplish this week was to send a letter to the editor of the Bellingham Herald in response to the guy who urged people to empty their dog poo bags into bike lanes as a protest to the city’s plastic bag ban that goes into effect in July. My letter was very similar to my blog post and I hope they print it. I’m not trying to change the mind of the jackass who urged the protest (He’s probably beyond help!) but perhaps it will resonate with other people. If they print my letter and it spurs just one other person to think, then I will consider it successful.
As a result of my nascent activist mindset, I also just joined—The League of American Bicyclistsa group promoting a bike friendly country through education and advocacy and I’m looking into something more local as well. Through this process, I did learn that my state, Washington, is ranked by the League as the most bicycle-friendlystate in the country. (Sweet!) But there’s always room for improvement. You can never eliminate all the whack jobs out there, but the friendlier our streets are the more bicyclists will be on them and that would be a great thing.