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Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State
Note: The following message was e-mailed to many people by a group called Healthy Transportation OH. We don’t know who this group is, but we support their message, and so are passing it on.
Each year, the bicycle/pedestrian community gathers in Washington, DC to share ideas and to speak with our Federal elected officials. A number of citizens from Ohio have made this trek and have tried for years to get an appointment with someone from Congressman John Boehner’s office. Neither the Congressman nor his staff has agreed to meet with their fellow Ohioans and constituents. Because he is the House Minority Leader, Representative Boehner is the second highest-ranking member of the U.S. Congress, and every American who walks or rides a bicycle is affected by his opinions.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press program, the Congressman’s anti-bicycle and anti-pedestrian stance became more public when he said “I think there’s a place for infrastructure. But what kind of infrastructure? Infrastructure to widen highways to ease congestion for American families? But if we’re talking about beautification projects or we’re talking about bike paths, Americans are not going to look very kindly on this.”
Apparently, the congressman believes urban sprawl is the answer. In his mind smog, pollution and asthma must be good things. In addition, he apparently:
Whether you are a seasoned bicycle commuter who doesn’t use bike paths, or an occasional rider who is intimidated by riding on streets, anyone who rides a bicycle or walks should take issue with his comments, the insulting tone in his voice, and his anti-bicycle / anti-pedestrian stance. His stance endangers not just bike paths, but also other projects, such as crosswalk improvements, better signage, new striping and sharrows, education programs, bicycle parking improvements, and multi-use paths.
With massive transportation and roadway projects expected soon, we need to remind our elected officials that streets, transportation systems, and infrastructure should include ALL users, not only cars and trucks.
The most effective communication tool in this case is the fax machine (they are inundated by e-mails and sending regular mail can take weeks to clear security). You can send a detailed letter, or you can send a simple handwritten note, such as “I Bike and I Vote!”
Here are the congressman’s fax numbers:
To send a message to any other elected official, their contact info can be found on www.votesmart.org. Please also consider forwarding this e-mail to people you care about who ride a bicycle or walk.