Let to Editor - Obama Mandates Bikeways

 

November 16, 2011

Mandating bikeways

Why is [President] Obama’s secretary of transportation mandating bikeway and walkways in all transportation plans? If bikeways were for recreation, surely in this desperate economic time, they would be put on hold.

Just 21⁄2 years after the $840 billion stimulus bill that was supposed to fuel all kinds of jobs and economic growth, Obama has asked for another $447 billion stimulus bill. Except this time Obama is calling it a “jobs” bill.

To sell his jobs bill, Obama has campaigned across the country bewailing our crumbling roads and bridges. If our bridges are as dangerous as Obama contends and bikeways are for recreation, then isn’t it foolish for Obama to mandate spending money on bikeways instead of bridges?

The following quotes are from the U.S. transportation secretary’s Regulation and Recommendation, March 11, 2010. “Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. The secretary has the authority to withhold approval for projects that would negatively impact pedestrians and bicyclists.” In the recommendation section is this bullet point: “Considering walking and bicycling as equal with other transportation modes.” [See this article at this link:  http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/bicycle-ped.html ]

Little Rock is now seeking a federal $12 million grant for finishing a 14-mile bikeway - at least $1 million a mile. The U.S. department has deemed this project worthy of funding.

In his 2012 budget Obama has proposed $556 billion for a 6-year surface transportation plan and “$53 billion over six years to improve passenger rail service...reaching the president’s goal of providing 80 percent of Americans with convenient access to a passenger rail system within 25 years.” [See this White House link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_transportation/ ]

So what are the bikeways and passenger rail really all about? Michael Moore speaks for Obama and global warming advocates: “The things we call cars may have been fun to drive, but they only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.”

On Nov. 3 Republicans tried but failed in their third attempt to eliminate federal money for bikeways, walking trails and other mass transportation projects. Mandating bikeways and doing away with our cars is definitely a Democratic move, not a Republican one.

Debbie Pelley

Jonesboro

Below is a section of an article I was invited to do for the  Jonesboro Sun on October 31 (a Question and Answer article) that explains more than my letter to the editor would allow. Below that see another letter to editor confirming  the truth of my statement about hearing at our Jonesboro MPO meeting last year:   That leaders of the MPO  believe in the near future that not only our children and grandchildren but we older adults will be riding bicycles and walking rather than driving cars. 

 

Earlier this year you voiced opposition to plans by the Jonesboro Area Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization to start several local transportation projects. Some of those projects include sidewalks, bicycle trails, greenways, etc. Why do you oppose these efforts? [This was one of the questions I was asked to respond to.  Below is my answer]

 

Conservatives want less government, not more. The Jonesboro Area Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is incorporating many aspects of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda 21 document adopted in 1992. Agenda 21 is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken in every area in which people directly affect the environment [global warming]. Federal legislation now requires the formation of an MPO for any urbanized area in the nation with a population greater than 50,000. So our Jonesboro MPO originated with international and federal government rather than local or state government. The Jonesboro MPO uses the words “Sustainable Development” in their literature.

 

Sustainable Development is designed to change our very way of life, our housing, our property, our mode of transportation, and where we live. Al Gore called it a “wrenching transformation” in his book “Earth in the Balance.” The scientific fraud of the 2009 Climategate scandal confirmed conservatives’ fears that the global warming scare was just another created crisis to allow more government control over our lives.

 

Eliminating as much transportation by cars (for global warming purposes) as possible is a goal of the U.N. Sustainable Development...Jonesboro MPO’s Transportation Plan includes numerous goals and policies to implement bikeways and walkways in their written plan. Following is just one example. “Work towards...increasing trips by bicycle and foot by a certain percentage over 2010 levels.”

 

At the first MPO meeting I attended, the speakers kept talking about bikeways and walkways, so I asked: “Are the bike trails for the purpose of recreation or for actual transportation to reduce the number of cars on the road?” Mr. Muhammad Ulkarim (Director of MPO) answered: “The bike trails are mostly recreational now, but in the near future they will be for transportation and to reduce the number of cars on the road.” After a couple more questions, we asked, “So do you envision a future where our children and grandchildren will be riding bicycles rather than driving cars?” The answer: “It won’t be just our kids and grandchildren, it will be you and me — us,” indicating it would be coming very soon. (Most of the people there were over 50 and probably over 60.)

 

There is no way Americans are going to depend on walking and biking and mass transit unless the government forces it on them through high gas prices, expensive cars, regulations, etc. There are all kinds of energy that could be tapped in our own country including drilling in Alaska, offshore and other places. Therefore, the government is imposing extreme unnecessary hardships on its citizens, and the MPO is knowingly or unknowingly cooperating with the federal government in its endeavors.

 

All this money is being wasted on bikeways, walkways, mass transit, light rail, etc., just like our president has wasted it on Solyndra and other solar plants for global warming purposes. According to Fox, President Obama has included a $53 billion investment in national high-speed intercity passenger rail network in this year’s budget and is pushing ahead with his plan to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years. Amtrak has lost $13 billion in the last 10 years. [This 80 percent figure is confirmed on the White House website at this link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_transportation/]

 

Smart Growth, a partner with the Environmental Protection Agency, is a Sustainable Development program the Jonesboro MPO promotes. The following quote on the EPA Web site describes how broad the Sustainable Development program is. “Smart growth development practices support national environmental goals by preserving open spaces and parkland and protecting critical habitat; improving transportation choices, including walking, bicycling, and transit, which reduces emissions from automobiles; promoting brownfield redevelopment; and reducing impervious surfaces, which improves water quality.”

 

Below is a letter to the Sun confirming statements I made in the letter and in the information above.

 

Usurping individual rights

Thank you for publishing the story on local conservative activist Debbie Pelley. Ms. Pelley made several interesting points in her interview.

Concerning the first public meeting of the Jonesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization last November, I am glad she pointed out what our city officials said about bike trails. I also attended the meeting and can concur we were told that initially the bike trails would be for recreation, but in the near future would be used for transportation and to reduce the number of cars on the road. Additionally, we were told that it would not only be our children and grandchildren who would be using bike trails, but we would be using them.

I can’t imagine some of our older citizens being forced to ride bicycles or buses. Choosing to do these things voluntarily is one thing, but being compelled to because of government regulation (via the United Nations) is an affront to individual freedoms that are so precious to Americans. There is absolutely no reason why Americans should be forced to ride bicycles with the vast amount of energy resources America has.

Pelley is right to be concerned about this. All this “Sustainable Development” and “Agenda 21” nonsense is based upon the fraudulent scheme dubbed “Global Warming.” Dreamed up by Al Gore, it has lost all credibility due to the Climategate scandal and by prominent climatologists debunking it. Not a week goes by that there isn’t some story about how this phony weather scam is falling apart. Gore should have stuck to inventing the Internet.

I remember not too many years ago the media was trying to make us believe that a new Ice Age was imminent. If that had indeed come to pass, no amount of taxation or United Nations regulation could have prevented it.

The desire for a cleaner environment and healthier citizens is a noble cause. However, using those good causes for ulterior purposes like usurpation of individual rights is unconscionable. When we accept funding filtered through the federal government with U.N. strings attached, we lose our sovereignty.

Joyce Jaynes

Jonesboro

Documentation for First Letter to Editor above by Debbie Pelley: If you google Sustainable Development, Agenda 21Smart Growth, or Complete Streets,  you will be able to see how far along these plans are. These are all terms we heard at the MPO meeting.

 

Documentation:

1.  http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/bicycle-ped.html  US Transportation Secretary's Regulation and Recommendation, March 11, 2010. – mandates bikeways & walkways.

 

2.http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/fundingoverview/Pages/fundingbreakdown.aspx Estimated American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax, entitlement, and contract, grant, and loan expenditures have been increased from $787B to $840B to be consistent with the President's 2012 budget and with scoring changes made by the Congressional Budget Office since the enactment of the Recovery Act in February 2009  Government website.

 

 3. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/20/senate-votes-down-trimmed-version-obamas-jobs-bill/  Obama's jobs bill 447 billion dollars first jobs bill but he pared it down some and it was still voted down.

 

4. http://globegazette.com/news/national/fact-check-gop-lawmakers-spin-funding-tall-tales/article_808994e7-1a5e-55fc-be49-a9623a0245ab.html  Senate votes to spare money for bike paths, Nov 1, 2011.  Was also in the Sun.

 

5.  http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mikes-letter/goodbye-gm-by-michael-moore.  Michael Moore's quote & article:  The things we call "cars" may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

 

6. " LITTLE ROCK — Little Rock is asking the federal government for $11.9 million to close the last remaining gap in the Arkansas River Trail ... The 14-mile Arkansas River Trail stretches from the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge in downtown Little Rock west to the Big Dam Bridge, But the missing link of the trail near Cantrell Road forces bicyclists and pedestrians to navigate a five foot sidewalk on the Cantrell Road bridge or the road itself. Some cyclists also use several city streets to detour around the busy roadway. Democrat Gazette "LR seeks grant of $12 million to finish path"  Nov 2, 2011 but link no longer good. 

 

7.  Obama's 2012 Budget:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/factsheet_department_transportation/

·                                 Proposes $556 billion for a six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal that invests in America’s future, creates jobs, and reforms how Federal dollars are spent. It reflects a need to balance fiscal discipline with efforts to expedite our economic recovery and job creation.

·                                 Provides $8 billion in 2012 and $53 billion over six years to improve passenger rail service and expand  capacity toward reaching the President’s goal of providing 80 percent of Americans with convenient access to a passenger rail system, featuring high-speed service, within 25 years.

 

 

Go to these links to read other articles on this subject:

 

On the Road to A Carless Society:  http://www.wpaag.org/Obama%20-%20Carless%20Society.htm

 

Brummett says Amen to World Without Cars: http://www.wpaag.org/brummett_says_amen_to__world_wit.htm

 

How Obama and AR Gov. Beebe Are Weaning Us Off Cars:   http://www.wpaag.org/Beebe%20-%20how_obama_and_beebe_are_weaning%20us%20off%20cars.htm

 

 Jonesboro Candidate Wants Us To Ride Baikes, Not In Cars       http://www.wpaag.org/Jonesboro%20Alderman%20Cand%20Wants%20us%20to%20Ride%20Bikes.htm

 

Posted by Debbie Pelley

November 17, 2011