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Monday, March 21, 2011

Obama's Transportation Chief is Coming to Town! And He'll Be Biking Over the Hawthorne Bridge.

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 1:05 PM

If you're lucky, you might spot some wonk celebrities tomorrow amid the regular sea of Spandex on the morning commute: Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Obama's Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, will bike over the Hawthorne Bridge tomorrow at precisely 8 AM.

LaHood is one of the precious few Republicans in Obama's cabinet but, surprisingly, has been really pushing the normally freeway-friendly transportation department to support bike, transit, and pedestrian transportation on par with cars. LaHood even kicked off the National Bike Summit this month, saying, “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.” The group is meeting at Salmon Springs Fountain after the grueling .5 mile ride, so that's your best chance to say hello to the bigwigs and maybe grab a sweaty hug.

LaHood is also speaking at a Bicycle Transportation Alliance event tonight—I'll be there and I'll post about what he says.

In other bike news, the Oregonian's PolitiFact checked out the stat that the entire Portland bike network was built for the same cost as one mile of urban freeway ($60 million). Their conclusion: Yes, yes, it "seems to stand up to scrutiny."

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