It’s a Sea Change for All the Cabinet Agencies

From, “Sebelius Says President Obama Has Instructed All Cabinet-Level Departments to Promote Public Health,” based on remarks by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

Sebelius explained that the Department of Transportation (DOT) can operate as a “health agency” by funding bike trails for communities, among other things.

“Transportation, you wouldn’t necessarily think that the Department of Transportation is a public health agency, but actually they have a lot to do with community health and public health because they have the funds for bike trails and walking paths and sidewalks and green space,” explained Sebelius.

So that’s context for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s evangelizing for pedal parity, that is, his recent declaration that the DOT would make no distinctions between motorized and non-motorized means of transportation.

Here’s a suggestion: The Department of Transportation should concentrate on the efficient and safe movement of people and goods. We already have enough public health agencies.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Carter Wood says:

    Really. So federal planning dollars — federal taxpayer dollars — should be used to plan for a bikepath from, say, Anita to Adair, Iowa?

    Here’s the reality of the U.S. economy.

    Trucking serves as a barometer of the U.S. economy, representing nearly 69 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods. Trucks hauled 10.2 billion tons of freight in 2008. Motor carriers collected $660.3 billion, or 83.1 percent of total revenue earned by all transport modes.

  • Leah says:

    Can you tell me why we should be enslaved to automobiles? I’ve been a bike and foot/bus commuter at various times in my life, and with community support these are wonderful modes of transportation. No worries about parking; freedom when on foot or bicycle to stop into local businesses on a whim, thus boosting the local economy; reducing pollution; improving personal cardio-vascular health, saving money on gas and car maintenance that can be spent on other needs and desires.What exactly is the downside?

    Of course cyclists and pedestrians should have their needs fully considered in all transportation planning. This is the 21st century, you old fossil.

  • neila young says:

    you are a big idiot. i’m sure you’re obese too. stupid fools like you are the reason the midwest is fat and getting fatter. get off your idiotic ass and get some exercise and stop eating french fries for breakfast.

    arggh, not all republicans are stupid like this. arrgh, i wanna puke

  • confused says:

    Somewhat confused here, it’s not a big leap (in fact a very small leap) to say that funding walkways and bike trails (which are also used by pedestrians) isn’t a “efficient and safe movement of people”. I think of two cases, the obvious being urban areas, imagine if we got rid of sidewalks in every major city, it’d be a disaster, the second is in my own neighborhood, which is somewhat rural, but I only live about 1.5 miles from a major bus (soon to be elevated train/subway), if there were bike paths on the very busy roads that go in front of my house and to the bus stop I’d walk the 0.9 miles to the bike path that could get me there. As I’d see this I’d be definitely effecting the efficiency of the roads in our area and I’d be much more safer then where I have to walk now.

    Suggestion: Pick a better argument before you open your mouth. I’d be like me saying that the National Association of Manufacturers is for making people unhealthy (at least I hope that’s not the case).

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