Back in 1995, TriMet and others in Oregon were pushing for a light rail line into Washington state that would, they imagined, extend as far as the Clark County Fairgrounds. "Light rail will carry 60,000 riders daily, reduce air pollution, free roadways for commerce, and create high paying jobs," they claimed in the voters' pamphlet. Moreover, they claimed that vehicle travel on the I-5 bridges would increase by 41,000 in the next five years. It didn't happen.
Clark County voters wisely rejected light rail, and nearly two decades on, traffic has never even remotely approached the levels so direly predicted. Yet they press on. And now an email from a Washington State Representative has bicycle-riders' panties in a sopping twist from Seattle to (naturally) BikePortland.org.
The new $4 billion light rail project that Portland's pushed for nearly 20 years would also feature nifty new bike and pedestrian lanes, though it would unfortunately have to carry cars and trucks as well. But the evil cars and trucks would have to pay tolls, while other users would cross for free, because they're like "green" and stuff.
Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama) wants to add a $25 fee to bicycle purchases. Obviously, the spandex crowd is outraged. So in response to complaints, Orcutt noted:
“since CO2 is deemed a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.”
Hey, he's just following along with what the federal EPA claims as reason for them to impose regulations on this gas. And the smug spandex crowd needs to help pay for their transportation corridor usage.
The statement also came as a shock to BikePortland.org’s Jonathan Maus, because he says up until now, Orcutt has staunchly opposed increased taxes on transportation.
“It’s shocking that someone in his high-ranking position would respond this way to a constituent,” Maus said. “The statement is based on a general cultural bias that people have about bicycling."
Isn't that just special? A spandexer in Portland has his panties in a twist over the views of a Washington state Representative. Why, there's a general cultural bias about bicycling! Sorry, Johnny, but that particular turd belongs in your own pocket. Right next to your stash of smug.