Peorian Ray LaHood is soon to be the ex-Secretary of Transportation for these United States. He has summed up his tenure, “the best job I’ve ever had,” on his blog.
Rhetorically, he was a bicycle advocate. At the beginning of his tenure as Secretary in 2009, LaHood wrote, “In the Department of Transportation, bicyclists have a full partner in working toward livable communities.” He was certainly the first Secretary to give a tabletop speech at a National Bike Summit.
After dedicated funding for bicycle projects was cut in the most recent federal transportation bill, he counseled active transportation advocates to focus on local advocacy if they wanted a chance of accessing the federal funds sent to states to be spent at the states’ discretion.
And he voiced support for the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, the engineering book that New York City’s transportation commissioner called “everything you need to know to bring world-class bikeways to city streets.”
He was a Republican in a Democratic administration and evidence that bicycling has natural allies regardless of party affiliation.
Not that Peoria paid much attention to the bicycle rhetoric. Maybe that’s a good thing. After all, some would contend that Peoria is still trying to deal with its status as the hometown of Richard Pryor.
According to Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org, “LaHood was a breath of fresh air from a corner of the Cabinet that had never before treated bicycling like a grown-up.”
His summary of LaHood’s tenure is well worth the read.
I don’t pay much attention to royal families. Yes, I thank the current U.K. head of state for her wartime service as a truck mechanic, but I’m just as likely to fawn over her offspring as I am to bubble over about the Wal-Mart diaspora.
Not. Gonna. Happen.
That being said, I will note the upcoming abdication of another monarch, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, in favor of her son, Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange. The reason?
The whole crew looks right at home on the bicycle, whether in the 1920s, 1970s or today.