Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to Talk About Cycling to a Conservative

Tom Bowden, a conservative Richmond lawyer, who also happens to chair the BikeWalk Virginia Advocacy Committee, discusses How to Talk About Cycling to a Conservative on Commute by Bike:
Don't assume they’re all hostile to our cause. What makes you think cycling isn't conservative? Of course it is! It conserves energy, it's individualistic, and it's anything but new-fangled. So they should be receptive. So don't let campaign posturing turn you away-all elected representatives have cyclists in their districts, and all of them would probably like to claim they brought dollars to their district or state.

Key points to keep in mind, and use as needed:
  • Cycling is an exercise (literally) of a fundamental freedom – freedom of movement. Although not explicitly defined in the Constitution, it is derived from the "privileges and immunities clause" as interpreted by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 (1920). (You were warned: I am in fact a lawyer). This is why you don't need a passport to enter New Jersey.
  • Cycling is efficient. True Conservatives love efficiency! It has been said that a cyclist is more efficient than a bird in flight.
  • Cycling has a glorious history of entrepreneurism! Think: Wright Brothers, Schwinn, and Trek. Lots of senators and representatives probably had paper routes. America invented the mountain bike, BMX and freestyle.
  • Use numbers. Here are some I find persuasive:
    • A study in one community showed that properties located near bike paths increased in value by 11% more than similar properties not near such facilities.
    • The Outdoor Industry Foundation estimates that the bicycling industry supports 1.1 million jobs and generates $17.7 billion in tax revenue each year.
    • A 3% reduction in traffic can result in a 30% reduction in traffic congestion.
    • Cycling reduces heart disease and other costly health problems – blunting the need for expensive health care – regardless of who pays for it.
    • The total maximum annual cost of bike commuter credit: less than $75 million even if every existing bicycle commuter got it – Total subsidies to drivers and transit users: $4.4 billion
    • Cycling generates $133 billion annually in economic activity
    • $76 billion a year on health care costs related to physical inactivity – Bike/Ped infrastructure can reduce this
    • $164 billion a year on health care costs associated with traffic injuries and deaths – caused by cars
    • $64 billion a year on health care costs of asthma and air pollution

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Contact FABB via email:

Subscribe to the
FABB e-newsletter

Subscribe to posts:
[Atom 1.0] or [RSS 2.0]

  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

  Transportation choices

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?