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LaHood: “This is what Americans want”

Thanks to everyone for telling Secretary LaHood how important his support for bicycling and walking is to you. HisFacebook page is still overflowing will gratitude.

Recently, he sat down with the New York Times reporter who wrote an earlier story on the secretary’s statement of support for bicycling and walking. Here’s the Q&A in which the secretary explains that accommodating bicycling and walking makes communities better places to lives.

What does the secretary say to the haters?

My response is that this is what Americans want. Americans want alternatives. People are always going to drive cars. We’re always going to have highways. We’ve made a huge investment in our interstate highway system. We’ll always continue to make sure that those investments in the highways are maintained.

But, what Americans want is to get out of their cars, and get out of congestion, and have opportunities for more transit, more light rail, more buses, and some communities are going to street cars. But many communities want the opportunity on the weekends and during the week to have the chance to bike to work, to bike to the store, to spend time with their family on a bike.

He sounded pretty excited when he announced the policy statement. Did he really mean it?

I think that livable and sustainable communities is a game changer. It’s a game changer because it’s what Americans want. It’s a game changer because people do want to get out of congestion, they want to get out of their cars, they want to be able to enjoy the outdoors, they want to be able to recreate with their families.

Some people don’t think you get a good bang for your buck with bicycling infrastructure. What’s the deal?

This is a good bang for the buck because it provides alternatives to people, and good exercise, and for people who are very health conscious and for people who want to spend time with their families.

This is a win, win, win. It incorporates a lot of different opportunities for people and it’s a good bang for good health, and a good bang for a different form of transportation, and it’s what the American people want.


Read the whole thing.

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