Bikes Are Transportation Too

Matt asks "Is Bicycling Transportation?" because Bush's Secratary of Transportation seems to think otherwise. Matt adds:

"And encouraging people, at the margin, to substitute cycling for some of their driving trips would be good for the environment and good for public health. So I don’t see a really compelling case for shifting funding further in the direction of highways."

Which reminds me of another dastardly deed by McCain. Last December, when he killed the renewable energy tax credit extentions (by skipping a vote that failed by one vote, and his was the only absent vote), he also killed a provision about tax credits for bicycle commuting.

The bill that died contained a provision to "extend the transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters." The language was taken from H.R.3221, which allowed bicycle commuters to either deduct from their income taxes or be reimbursed by employers for up to $20 per month for "the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee's residence and place of employment."

Sadly, due to McCain's disinterest in intelligent energy policy, this simple measure is still not law. This is an obvious measure to encourage people who are in a position to commute by bicycle, to do so. It's not extravagant, or a windfall, but it does cover just about all the associated costs of bicylce commuting. My 2006 Fuji Newest same with lifetime tuneups (less parts), but my ~20 year old Panasonic Sport 500, which is my daily rider, needs a little more love. I spend probably $200 a year, between small things and the occasional busted part. As I enter the workforce, I would like to keep riding if my situation permits, and if it's less expensive, the situation is more permitting.

Just another one of the consequences to McCain's record of absence on energy.