Friday, March 04, 2005

Commute by bike for money.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer from Oregon, a true man of the people and a bicycle commuter, introduced the Bike Commuter Act this month to extend Section 132 fringe benefits to bicycle commuters. All I can say is, Thank You Earl!

It's about goddamn time. Bicycle commuting provides a multitude of benefits to both those on the bike and to other commuters. Whether it's strengthening the bike commuter, reducing air pollution, or freeing up road space and reducing congestion, commuting by bicycle is a fine thing. Likewise, in this age of declining oil supply, it's an intelligent and patriotic transportation option. The only mystery for me is why we give the lazy fucks in their cars unfortunate folk who have to drive to work a $175/month benefit for parking. We would be removing an incentive for people to drive and taking one small step towards freeing ourselves from the yoke of mid-east oil.

I would note that this is not the first time that Earl has introduced this bill, having done so in both of the last two sessions. Both times, I believe, it died in conference. Fortunately for some bike commuters, states and localities are beginning to attempt their own versions of this bill. Thus, in Seattle, the Regional Smart Commute Program offers $3/day for people who bicycle to work. I'd love to see Rep. Blumenauer's bill pass, but I suppose it's unlikely in the current political climate. Ah well, I guess that's what we should expect out of our majority party and its profound devotion to personal responsibility and self-sufficiency.