18 January 2009

Boehner's Boner

Thanks to Sean, who sent this in to Copenhagenize.com:

Over the weekend, John Boehner, the Republican leader in the United States House of Representatives, made a rather unfortunate comment about the economic stimulus package currently being debated and cycling infrastructure on CBS's "Face the Nation" - a well-known political news program.

“I think there’s a place for infrastructure, but what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways, to ease congestion for American families? Is it to build some buildings that are necessary?” He stated. “But if we’re talking about beautification projects, or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”


You can see the segment on You Tube (at 5:05) or view it here:


You can also read a brief article about it on the political web site "The Hill."

If inclined, you can also contact Representative Boehner to share your opinion.

Thanks, Sean, for sending this in. There is also a page at the League of American Bicyclists about 'Who's Trashing Talking Cycling' with some good counter arguments.

Isn't this politician's name pronounced Boner, when Anglicized?

11 comments:

allez1961 said...

He tries to make believe his name is pronounced Bay-ner but it sure seems like it should be boner. This guy is a typical republican with requisite narrow point of view and hypocritical behavior. He is the very antithesis of my man Earl Blumenauer from oregon. Fortunately these knuckle heads will be on the run for at least the next two years!

bike snob mpls said...

the beauty of the two party system is that this guy is an outlier,no-one has include in a coalition government or espouse his beliefs for political expediency, his is a lone voice crying the wilderness,

my wish is that america will begin upgrading it's infrastructure to eliminate it's dependence on suburban housing and 'car-centric' transportation that side-walkless, big box retailing, suburban living is dependant on...

the Rising Jurist said...

Unfortunately, he's probably right. A majority of Americans would not support spending that money on bike paths, because they never support spending tax dollars on bike infrastructure. Of course, if the goal is to stimulate the economy, it shouldn't really matter what it's spent on. If it consumes materials and puts people to work, that's a mission accomplished.

But that's just the sad reality for a country that became so enamored with the suburban lifestyle. We'll probably never see a complete shift back to urban living; we're just too big and too spread out.

But more and more cities are revitalizing their downtowns, and more and more urban dwellers are discovering the wonder that is the bicycle! We're headed in the right direction, at least.

spiderleggreen said...

First, apologies out to the rest of world for the numbskulls, we in America have elected. Hopefully, things will be changing soon. Boobs like Boehner talk a good game, but at this point, they are on the hook for what is happening to America.

There is going to be a stimulus package, and hopefully it'll be up to cities to decide what to do with it. Not buttheads like Boehner.

Paolo said...

I sent my comments to him. What a d****e bag! He's the same fellow who slavishly followed the Bush Administration lead wherever it would take him, and who now questions the validity of the stimulus package. Is he trying not to laugh when he's contradicting himself so obviously? Is he a total and complete moron?

Anonymous said...

Boehner, despite his unfortunate name, is not an outlier. He has been in congress for 18 years; he is the house minority leader; and he won re-election by over 60% in November. Congressman Boehner is standing up (ahem) for his constituents.

We have a long way to go, and Ohio may never get there.

rex

BG said...

Hey. Just to make it easier for everyone, here's the comment I sent to Boehner; cut and paste at will.

Dear Rep. Boehner:

I write to express my disappointment in your recent comments about bicycle lanes, and to hope that you will learn a little bit about bicycle infrastructure and change your mind. Bicycles are not leisure items; they are an essential part of the transportation system in many places, and will become more and more important as we move away from fossil fuels. I particularly urge you to look at the work of John Pucher, a professor of urban planning at Rutgers who has studied bike infrastructure around the world and has many sensible ideas for our country: http://policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher

I also encourage you to talk about bike infrastructure with your congressional colleague Earl Blumenauer of Oregon. Finally, I hope you'll have a look at some of the countries (including Denmark, the Netherlands, and Japan) where bike infrastructure is already in place and functioning well for millions of citizens in their daily lives.

Again, I hope you'll change your mind and begin the fight for serious investment in bicycle infrastructure.

Sincerely,

Adrienne Johnson said...

Very little bicycle infrastructure comes from the Federal Government. The vast majority of it comes from State and Local Gov'ts. So while Mr. Boehner can say what he likes, it's the people in your state capitols and City Halls that will make most of these decisions. Write to them. Get involved with your local bike groups. Go to Planning Commission meetings. Send your Mayor a bicycle paper weight with a note attached! The Senate and House can talk this stuff up all they want, but when it comes time to build or not, it will not be them that has anything to do with it.

Alexandra said...

Thanks for posting this; I just sent him an email. I pointed out that obesity and its related illnesses are killing Americans, and we all pay for it in our health insurance costs, and better bike infrastructure is exactly what we do need.

More Americans would try biking for transportation if they felt safe doing it. I do it as much as I can, but there are certain places not far from my house are just not safely accessible by bike or on foot - there isn't even a sidewalk.

The Jolly Crank said...

Unfortunately Federal funding does play a huge role in local bike infrastructure. My own city, Minneapolis, has requested economic stimulus funds to put in appropriate lighting along an otherwise convenient bike trail. Without that stimulus funding, the project could wait until 2013. Large biking greenway projects recently completed in my city would never have been done as quickly or as well without large federal matching grants

psyco about the bicycle said...

I think you all have touched on it; the answer is education. People need to be educated with the idea that the bicycle is not a toy but a viable mode of transportation. I believe when Mr Boehner talks bike paths he thinks more in line of rail trails used for leisure. He is not thinking of "bicycle roads".