Last night I went to the transportation dog and pony show. There were about 40 people there total, 7 cyclists, and 5 of them were with me. I'm telling you, I was disappointed. I sent the message to the other local teams, and RABA and that was the best we could do. I tell people all the time that the moral majority was neither moral, or the majority. What they were was vocal. If we don't care enough to come out to meetings like this, then I'm afraid that we should just shut up and continue to take whatever comes our way.
I always find that before and after talks are where things get done, so of course I was the little social butterfly pouncing on poor unsuspecting politicians. Rudy Butler is on the Board of Supervisors for Goochland and about every transportation initiative across the country. God love him, he told me flat out that Goochland has no money for new bike lanes. I know that. I actually don't want bike lanes(gasp!) what I'd like to have is either a wider road or at least some kind of a shoulder.
Face it folks, I think its an easier sell to the public to say that we are going to widen the road to make it safer for everyone than it is to say that we are going to build bike lanes for those damn cyclists. I cant begin to say how many bad accidents I've investigated because the roads are narrow and have a large drop off from the pavement to a drainage ditch. Heck, half the roads in my county aren't even wide enough to be stripped.
Virginia's transportation budget is 4 billion. Nope, sorry, that was LAST years budget. This years budget has been cut 25%. Most of that goes to pay past debt. It's time for some reality. We can't even maintain the roads we have unless someone gives a little. We actually have to fund transportation, and then do the things that we need to do to make roads safe for everyone.
So if you talk to your representative, maybe that would be a good topic to have. Tell them that you ARE willing to pay a little more to have decent roads. Or at least come out to some of these meetings to see what the real numbers are.
Grrrr (Thanks Jenn, Adam, Cliff, James, Bud and his wife for coming. Thanks especially for James and Cliff giving me targets to pounce on. I'm terrible with names and need refreshers!)