Thursday, June 26, 2008

Colorado legislatures attack cycling on Bike To Work Day

Wednesday was Bike To Work Day in Colorado.

I have much more to write about Highlands Ranch in Douglas County, Colorado in particular, but for now I'll just reprint the press release from the Colorado state legislature and let it speak for itself. I have additional commentary about Highlands Ranch in this map I uploaded to Flickr this morning. For those not familiar with the area, Highlands Ranch is the poster child for suburban cul de sac traffic hell. Aerial photos of Highlands Ranch are used to illustrate articles on the evils of sprawl. It's a shame that these bozos want to turn bicycling into a partisan issue.

“You’ve got to be kidding!”

That was the reaction today from Colorado State Senator Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, and State Representative Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, when they heard that Democrats are proposing “long bike ride(s)” as a solution to rising gas prices.

“Colorado families are struggling at the pump and the answer we are getting from Colorado Democrats is shut down oil and gas production in Colorado and ride your bike: Unbelievable,” said McNulty. “I’d like to see how they expect a mother of three in my district to get her kids to school and to buy groceries for her family using a bicycle.”

The press announcement that Democrats sent out yesterday states: “As gas prices continue to spiral toward $5 a gallon, many are taking a stand – or in some cases, a long bike ride.”

McNulty and Penry said they are supportive of celebrating “Bike to Work Day” today, but said that it’s not realistic for Democrats to hold bicycling up as a way to address skyrocketing gas prices.

“Bill Ritter's "New Energy Economy" now has a mascot: it is the bicycling politician who thinks we can peddle our way to energy independence,” Penry said. “This is the most absurd, ridiculous and totally convincing explanation of why Colorado Democrats are clueless when it comes to addressing our energy crisis.”

Penry and McNulty have supported many of the governor’s renewable energy initiatives, but say that it is only part of the solution. They have both been critical of Gov. Ritter’s approach to stunting energy development in Colorado, an approach they say will lead to even higher energy prices for Colorado consumers.


Cezar said...

It's funny as republicans that they don't realize the market has come up with cargo bikes to solve the issue of hauling children. I left both of them a message pointing to

murphstahoe said...

I loved growing up in Colorado but there are a lot of times I simply do not miss it. I don't get it - I guess growing up in Boulder/Niwot is sort of like growing up in Austin, you just don't realize you are just an island in the middle of a bunch of hilljacks. First the Larimer County Sheriff and now this.

I dated a girl from Loveland once and her parents always eyed me with suspicion, because I was from "Whacko-land"

James said...

“I’d like to see how they expect a mother of three in my district to get her kids to school and to buy groceries for her family using a bicycle.”

He is right. The average suburban Mom is not going to ride a long way to get groceries, take kids to school, etc. That is why the far out suburbs will be the slums of the future.

If he is concerned about the future of his district, he should focus on urbanizing the burbs before his constituents all move someplace where they can walk and ride.

Fritz said...

Murph: you gotta love what Broomfield did to escape that island of Boulder County. :-) And I seem to recall some people in Longmont wanted to merge into Weld County not long ago.

I don't know if you've been up to Larimer County lately, but they have their own sprawling mess stretching from Berthoud into Fort Collins along US 287. The state even built a bypass around Berthoud to move all of that commuter traffic around the town.

Cezar: I'm disappointed in their lack of awareness on a lot of issues that impact their districts, some of which James alludes to in his comment. Penry & McNulty mock the thriftiness of bicycling, but then push their own ludicrous proposals.

James: Douglas County, Colorado is completely unsustainable and not just because of energy issues. I think many suburbs can adapt to life in a lower carbon future, but the sprawling burbs south, east and north of Denver will return to prairie and, maybe, ranchland if the current residents leave any fossil ground water behind. Much of Douglas County, for example, depends on non-renewable groundwater.

Jennifer said...

Yech, is that a map? I think I'm going to be sick.

murphstahoe said...

I get the displeasure of occasional business trips to Ft Fun. I stay in Niwot at my parents and commute. Have not yet tempted fate and done it on my bike - I'd have to do some serious soul searching on a map given I used to bike to Loveland on US-287 and doubt that would be a reasonable route now. I'd probably go back past Carter Lake or something or try to find some backroad east of I-25.

Fritz said...

I used to ride Longmont to Loveland all the time on 287 -- it's no problem at all besides a few narrow spots on the way to Berthoud. SInce then wide shoulders have been added to 287 to Loveland. From Loveland to Ft Collins, Taft Road is the preferred cycling route, IIRC.

Anonymous said...

How ironic, Republicans that preach against big government get exactly that when they fail to see bikes as part of the solution. Motorized driving requires more and wider roads, higher maintenance costs, more law enforcement, more court time, more insurance, more accidents, more gas stations, and more government oversight.

cafiend said...

Personally I can't stand it when people write "peddle" when they should write "pedal."

Fritz said...

I noticed "peddle" in the press release also. It seems to be a fairly common mistake because the spell checker doesn't catch it. At least the part of speech is correct in this instance. I read a news story the other day somewhere where "peddle" was used as a noun.