Chris Zigmont of Pedro’s, copied me on an email that he sent to the Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, in response to something ridiculous that she said recently regarding the value of transportation funds that are spent on bicycle projects and was reported on this morning by Bicycle Retailer. I thought it was a thoughtful and entertaining retort to her comments and contained some useful links to help educate her. Chris managed to fit in a subtle dig at her statement, but it’s buried deep within a constructive attempt to eductate her and those like her – unfortunately, many more than we would like to admit here in the US. Well, done, Chris!
With his permission to reprint it, enjoy:
Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary Peters,
I donâ€™t normally write government officials, especially appointed ones, as it is usually a waste of time and this time is likely no exception. However this time I am compelled. Having just returned from the bicycle industryâ€™s annual national trade meeting and seeing the traction that transportation and utility bicycles have finally made in the US domestic market, I was genuinely disappointed to read some of the comments youâ€™ve made recently regarding the status of walking and cycling in the nationâ€™s transportation scheme (http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/496.html among other places). As a career transportation operative, I am surprised that you arenâ€™t familiar with the successes realized by cities and nations around globe in utilizing bicycles and walking as part of the overall intermodal transportation efforts. You seem out of touch. I understand however that once trapped inside the beltway, it can be difficult to see much past the challenges that governing and administrating such a large operation can bring every day. Donâ€™t worry, Iâ€™m here to help.
Below are several links to key sites to bring you up to speed on cycling and transportation. The next time you speak publicly you will appear more informed and in-touch with what is going on with us rank and file citizens that are truly concerned about congestion, air quality and health, and improved efficiencies in transportation.
Some sites to help you see bikes in a new way:
I put this one in so you might see how an entire city cycles for one reason or another. Portland is a great town, I suggest you go if you havenâ€™t been.
TreeHugger.com One of my favorites, but if you lunch with Secretary Kempthorne, I wouldnâ€™t bring up your surfing here
I also scrapped together Treehuggerâ€™s Bicycle archives. Good stuff!
The Worldâ€™s Embrace
It’s part of life in the Netherlands www.ski-epic.com/amsterdam_bicycles
â€¦ and Denmark members.aol.com/humorme81/citybike.htm
Paris (not Hilton) caught on â€¦
â€¦now US cities consider the idea. Hey, there might be something to these bicycle things!
Donâ€™t worry; you can use these links without getting in trouble with your boss as Al Gore didnâ€™t really invent the internet.
I hope this helps. You can see that literal billions of people use bikes for transportation, and many more Americans want to and can with your help and understanding. I read on your Bio that you and I share a passion for motorcycles. Well, cycling is in many ways the same and twice as enjoyable. You should try it. Let me know if youâ€™d like help finding a bike shop in your neighborhood.
Enjoy the ride,
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Christopher Zigmont, General Manager
600 Research Drive
Wilmington, MA 01887