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Obama Celebrates Nomination with Bike Ride

by Kate Trainor on June 10, 2008

Obama_BikesPOST Obama Celebrates Nomination with Bike Ride
After wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination last week, Senator Barack Obama celebrated on Sunday by venturing for a bike ride around Lake Michigan with his family.

Many cyclists and carectomy patients alike were already excited at the prospects of a candidate who vocalized his opinions in favor of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and an increase in funding for mass transit. Just last week, Obama called upon auto manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency and encouraged stricter federal standards.

Before we get too ga-ga over the potential of having a bike advocate in the White House, we should note that Obama’s celebratory spin began with a ride to the trailhead in a Secret Service piloted SUV. Still, we’re impressed by Obama’s approach to transportation issues and the fact that he’s willing to walk the walk – or, in this case, pedal the pedals.

Via AP. Thanks to carectomy patient Joe for the heads-up.

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  2. Obama Pledges to Support Cyclists
  3. Obama’s Take on Fuel Economy
  4. Obama Plans to Fight Sprawl, Support Peds As President
  5. Obama: The Cyclist’s Candidate?
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JC, Sr July 12, 2008 at 9:45 pm

I love bikes and mass transit, but if a person wants his/her cake they should pay for it. Look to Peakoildedunked for a post with pictures of Japanese style bike (parking) and train commuting. Of course the japanese have been doing this for years. Americans are just beginning to fall out of their SUVs.
Another example. In The state of Connecticut, there is a proposal to build an express busway on an abandoned railway from New Britain to Hartford through the towns of Newington and West Hartford. In selling the proposal at many public gatherings a state official said but not in those axcact words. These will be elegant buses. Much quieter with soft spacious seating. So what do we call all those browner than thou people who have been riding the inner city buses for the last couple generations? Chopped Meat?

Reply

2 Nathan Hurst July 15, 2008 at 2:23 am

Caltrain is not connected to BART. It is part of Amtrak, whereas BART is a separate commission. I’ve been wondering whether some flat cars or box cars could be modified for extra bike capacity.

Of course the real solution for caltrain is to run more trains more frequently all through the day.

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3 brian goldner July 17, 2008 at 7:17 am

actually nathan, Caltrain is neither part of BART nor is it part of Amtrak. Caltrain is its own entity.

I suppose that Caltrain’s problem will be mitigated somewhat when the extension to downtown SF is built, making it easier for riders to get to work (making a bike connection less necessary)

Reply

4 Nathan Hurst July 19, 2008 at 5:49 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caltrain says:
[i]It is currently operated under contract by Amtrak and funded jointly by City and County of San Francisco, San Mateo County Transit District, and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority through the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board. [/i]

So I was half right. The conductors all wear amtrak branded stuff.

Electrification would help a lot too. Perhaps the old trains could be used for express services where their slow acceleration isn’t a problem, slowly replacing with electric trains. Eventually people will see the light and replace a 1 hour plane flight, plus 3 hours waiting, with a 2 hour train ride:
http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/
(so when electrifying, use a suitably high voltage so you can share lines)

(when California goes back into the black perhaps?)

Reply

5 George August 6, 2008 at 5:36 am

Caltrain is a separate entity closely associated with a) SAMTRANS, b) Joint Powers Board c) the three counties it serves (San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara).

Amtrak is contracted to provide conducter service.

The main issue is the peak period, when everyone else wants to ride the train, guess what cyclists do too.

Parking is not a solution for most cyclists; bicycles are necessary on both ends.

Caltrain has managed to build a world leading bicycle / train service; their actions have not been oriented toward increasing / improving the bicycle service.

Reply

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