Posts Tagged ‘Det’

National Bike Summit Breakfast: Day Three

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

img_2189Thursday began with a National Bike Summit breakfast. I took the opportunity to speak briefly with Congressman Earl Blumenauer about biking and walking in Detroit.

I didn’t need to provide much background.

He immediately noted how his cycling city roll-model Portland is different in that it’s a growing city, whereas cities like St. Louis, Detroit, and others are dealing with shrinking populations, jobs, vacant land, and more.

I spoke about the collective effort with the support of Mayor Cockrel to reinvent Detroit as a green city, where biking and walking are a strong component. I noted our non-motorized plan, greenways network vision, and our application for Active Transportation 2010 funding.

He added that we need to make sure our bike solutions at the federal level are not one-size-fits-all.

Although it seemed longer, it was perhaps only a minute of conversation. Still, it was one of the most rewarding minutes during my stint at this summit. It was very good to know that one of the primary congressional leaders in biking and walking advocacy was already on point with urban non-motorized perspectives outside of the Portland’s and Boulder’s of the world.

After our discuss, Congresssman Blumenauer addressed the entire group on his new Multimodal Commuter Credit legislation. It basically addresses some flaws in the current implementation of bike commuter tax credit and provides more flexibility.

Why was the bike commuter act flawed from the start? asked Blumenauer’s staffer Tyler Frisbee that question.

Frisbee said the reason is that it was passed as part of the financial bailout package, “instead of a more orderly process.”

We reported on this back in October. Blumenauer’s bike commuter bill was added to the bank bailout bill perhaps to garner his vote — it didn’t work. He voted against the bailout and the commuter language was flawed.

Fortunately the Congressman’s commited to correcting these flaws.