Ray LaHood, President Barack Obama’s transportation secretary, has come under fire for announcing that the government is going to give the same consideration to walking and bicycling as it does motorized forms of transport when it comes to funding, reports the Associated Press.
The efforts from LaHood, a former Republican congressman from Illinois, are part of the Obama administration’s efforts to improve “livability” across the U.S. by bolstering infrastructure for bicycling, walking, public transit, and street cars.
These ideas might go over well in a place like, say, Portland, Ore., but industries that rely on more traditional means of getting around aren’t happy.
From the AP article:
The National Association of Manufacturers’ blog, Shopfloor.org, called the policy “dumb and irresponsible.”
“LaHood’s pedal parity is nonsensical for a modern industrial nation,” said the blog. “We don’t call it sacrilege, but radical is a fair description. It is indeed a sea change in federal transportation policy that could have profound implications for the U.S. economy and the 80 percent of freight that moves by truck.”
Another went even further:
At a recent House hearing, Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, suggested jokingly to a Transportation Department official that one explanation for the new policy is that the secretary’s thinking has been clouded by drugs.
“Is that a typo?” LaTourette asked. “If it’s not a typo, is there still mandatory drug testing at the department?”