Bicycles in the culture wars?

I found the commentary that’s linked to below on the Bicycle Times Magazine website. While I’ve encountered some anti-bicycle sentiment over the years, I can’t say it’s always conservatives expressing those attitudes.

Sometimes it’s simply motorists who have had bad experiences with cyclists. And there are plenty of cyclists who ride carelessly. Of course there are also plenty of bad drivers on the road. I’ve encountered motorists who seemed willing to hurt or kill me in apparent attempts to assert their rights on the road that – legally – they didn’t have.

Experience like riding on this covered bridge on the Lake Wobegon Regional Trail at Holdingford makes cycling on trails all the more enjoyable. But the cost of building and maintaining trails makes a lot of people — not just conservatives — wonder if tax dollars couldn’t be used more effectively on types of roadways that serve a variety of types of transportation.

But the issues discussed in this Boston Globe commentary indicate future areas of disagreement that people on both sides should consider. There seems to be support in Minnesota for further development of trails that allow cyclists to ride where there are no vehicles. But trails are expensive and bike lanes and wider shoulders on rural roads would probably give tax payers – no matter what mode of transportation they use – more bang for their tax dollars.

Conservatives’ new enemy: Bikes

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