Transportation headlines, Thursday, May 19

Portland mayor boosts money for cycling, takes money from roads (Oregonian)

Mayor Sam Adams boasted recently he’s increasing spending on bike infrastructure in Portland by 17 percent with money largely raised from gas taxes on motorists — and guess what, motorists are complaining. The Oregonian interviewed 18 motorists at a local Arco station and found 14 that said they were against having money diverted from roads to bike lanes and such. Of course, that’s a nice journalistic trick. Reporter goes to the place where he/she will find people who will likely say exactly what you need them to say after being informed — maybe in an unbiased way, maybe not — about the bike funding situtation. “This is intended to save lives and reduce injuries among the city’s growing number of vulnerable road users,” Adams told The Oregonian. “The public – and that includes auto commuters – has told us that they want us to focus on eliminating conflicts on our streets.”

Are you ready for the two-mile challenge? (Welcome to the Fast Lane blog)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood points out that 40 percent of urban trips are two miles or less and 90 percent of those trips are taken by car. What to do about it? Create a contest that challenges people in the warm months to use their bikes instead of their cars for short trips. You can do it, too. My vow: no more driving to the gym for spin class.

New Mexico Road Runner train faces scrutiny (New West)

In 2006, New Mexico did what other places in the West couldn’t quite manage up to then: launch a brand new commuter rail service. The train connects Albuquerque and Santa Fe and is cheap to ride — a day pass purchased online costs $7. And the train has free wi-fi. But the project cost $400 million to get off the ground and — surprise! — isn’t turning a profit. That has some Republicans asking questions about whether the service should be continued or sold off to a private entity. As per usual, the politicians conveniently forget that roads are subsidized, too.

 

3 replies

  1. Hi Steve,

    That link for the New Mexico post goes to the Portland story.

    -Neal

    p.s. You should chronicle your biking adventures for us!

  2. The link for the New Mexico Road Runner story actually points to the Portland Oregon story.