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as a teamster warehouser, i am very mindful of the working stiffs and all we endure. currently, the typical household pays about 20% of income supporting transportation costs. This number is sure to increase as rising oil costs and congestion increases. Building safe ways to get to work, to accomplish our daily must do's stand to benefit the working class at a much greater level than the 'elite'. By having a safe way to get to work not relying on a car, I am freed from the non-discretionary expense. I might even get to suspend my gym membership because I exercise daily. I will be more connected to my community because I don't have that steel box around me.
This does not mean I get forced out of my car. The secret is ' appropriate transportation'. Having a safe way to get 20# of groceries at Safeway, 2 miles away, a bike makes sense. For taking grandma to the doctors, that car is still important.
I have worked on bike issues over the years because, like you, I understand that the burden of the status quo is borne mostly by working folks. We will always have to work,but we dont have to limit ourselves with outdated and unsustainable priorities. Remember also, the dollar you don't HAVE to spend on gas is a dollar you GET to do with as you please. The cost of the current Master Plan is about $500 million, over 20 years. This is about 1% of the total transportation budget. By getting 25% of trips, 5 miles or less out of cars, we meet environmental standards easier, reduce congestion, which allows faster cheaper freight movement, improve public health,safe routes to school, the list of benefits goes on.
If anyone class will be the primary beneficiary of safe bike routes, it will be the working class.
My contention is that the small investment in non-motorized transport will pay huge dividends for generations to come, not only financially,but in how we live.
posted 3 years, 6 months ago
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