Let the Hissy Fits Begin

Randal O’Toole, writing in the Washington Times, writes about the John Mica Transportation bill and how “all it does is limit spending to no more than the gas taxes and other highway user fees that fund federal surface-transportation programs.” Which isn’t really true, since it does more than that. It also significantly changes the way that money is apportioned.

Still, cyclists and transit advocates are having hissy fits because Republicans would reduce subsidies to their favored forms of travel – subsidies paid, for the most part, by people who rarely ride a bike or use transit. While the Interstate Highway System and most state highways were funded almost entirely out of road user fees, transit and cycling proponents think other people should pay for bike paths, rail lines and other facilities dedicated exclusively to their use.

I’m not sure it’s any more hissy-fit like than O’Toole’s response to the High Price of Free Parking, but I guess that is in the eye of the beholder. Of course, it’s telling that he doesn’t name the advocates who are having these hissy fits, just be assured that it is happening.

As for his claim that cyclists want subsidies paid for by people who rarely ride a bike, that just isn’t so.

Biking and walking make up 12 percent of all trips in the US – even as funding for biking and walking projects only accounts for 1.5 percent of the federal transportation budget