It was only a few weeks ago that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was making his rounds on all the networks talking about the slew of incompetent air traffic controllers. The topic made headline news for days (too many, in my opinion) and ranged from napping air traffic controllers to ones trying to catch a flick in between landing planes. It was certainly enough to keep the man busy.
Today, I saw a story on Huffington Post that caught my eye and made me laugh and thought I should share since I'm probably not the only one out there who needs a chuckle today. LaHood's most recent mission for his department is looking into measures to encourage automobile drivers to observe better safety standards when it came to bicyclists on the roadways. First of all, I'm an avid biker and one of my biggest complaints about the State of Maine is that they were too cheap to pave decent-size shoulders on their roads, making it dangerous for bikers to enjoy some of the most beautiful roads in the country. Every time I choose the scenic route, I know I'm taking my life in my hands and it just takes one inattentive motorist to ruin a beautiful bike ride (and perhaps my life).
First of all, I think it's interesting this is a topic LaHood is passionate about and something he thinks the Transportation Department needs to take the lead on.
“I’m concerned that people that are driving cars have a level of respect for bikers, and that’s the reason that we have these bike lanes,” said LaHood, in the article. “Bikers have as much right to the streets as anybody driving a car and I am concerned about [their safety]."
Perhaps it's the rise in gas prices that's prompting him to get out in front of what could be a rapid rise in bikers on the road (that's a big reason I started riding to work more).
The amusing part of the story, is that the reporter also expressed surprise at LaHood's passion:
Told that his heartfelt defense of bikers came off like the musings of a run-of-the-mill hipster, LaHood professed genuine confusion.
“I don’t even know what that term means,” he said.
Upon second reading, I guess it's not really all that funny (must be the cold medicine), but when I first read it I thought it was amusing that LaHood didn't know what a hipster was. Then I realized there's probably a large percentage of SDN readers who also do not know what a hipster is. So here, check out this link. Don't say you didn't learn anything from reading this blog.