Transportation headlines, Thursday, August 5: Colorado candidate says bike policies could lead to state succumbing to United Nations

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

Candidate says Denver’s bike policies threaten freedom (Denver Post)

I started to read this story and thought it was something lifted from the Onion. It’s not. In Colorado, gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes says that Denver’s pro-biking policies are a subversive effort to turn Denver “into a United Nations community.” He’s particularly upset that Denver has signed onto a UN sustainable cities program. Excerpt:

Polls show that Maes, a Tea Party favorite, has pulled ahead of former Congressman Scott McInnis, the early frontrunner in the Aug. 10 primary for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Maes acknowledged that some might find his theories “kooky,” but he said there are valid reasons to be worried.

“At first, I thought, ‘Gosh, public transportation, what’s wrong with that, and what’s wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what’s wrong with incentives for green cars?’ But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty,” Maes said.

He said he’s worried for Denver because “Mayor Hickenlooper is one of the greatest fans of this program.”

The article says that Hickenlooper recently upset some Denver-area automobile dealers by attending the launch of the city’s bike-sharing program and asking how best to wean residents off the the automobile.

Ah, Colorado. For a day, you make the Golden State look pretty normal.

We’re hot and we’re not going to take it anymore (Grist)

Author Bill McKibben — whose “The End of Nature” was one of the first mass-market books to tackle global warming — ticks off the hot weather records that have been broken this year, including the tidbit that nine nations have set new record high temperatures this year. But McKibben is despondent that the U.S. Senate has decided not to tackle a climate bill this year and the Methodist Sunday school teacher uses some pretty coarse language saying so. McKibben also proposes a very stiff carbon tax, with the proceeds going straight back to Americans to help pay for higher energy prices. A good, provocative read.

Is public transit a viable alternative to widening the 5 freeway? (KPBS)

Caltrans is studying whether to expand the stretch of the 5 between Costa Mesa and Oceanside in northern San Diego County. But many nearby residents are asking ‘why not expand transit?’ even though trains that run in that corridor boast many empty seats. The lanes would be managed — that is, tolled in plain English — and would increase bus service.