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Legislator back pedals on bicycle pollution statement

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The Washington state legislator who told  a constituent that hard-breathing bicyclists cause pollution has apologized for his statement.

Republican Rep. Ed Orcutt of Kalama wrote:

“First of all, let me apologize for the carbon emission line of an email which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community. It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles. Although I have always recognized that bicycling emits less carbon than cars, I see I did a poor job of indicating that within my email.”

Apparently he still believes that bicyclists don’t pay their fair share when it comes to paying for roads. He’s one of those who believes that all road construction and maintenance costs are paid for by taxes charged at the gas pump. [Orcutt's original email.]

That’s discouraging, since he sits on the House Transportation Committee and should know more about such funding issues.

Now that the bicycle pollution bugaboo has been put to rest, bicycle advocates in Washington state can concentrate on more meaningful topics.

One is to kill the proposal to charge a $25 tax on the sale of all bicycles costing $500 or more. Another is to get more of our tax dollars committed to bicycle facilities.

A bill that allows jurisdictions to set 20 mph speed limits on local streets is also on the legislative agenda, as is a bill requiring motorists give bicyclists three feet of space when passing.

The Bicycle Alliance of Washington and Cascade Bicycle Club are among groups working on those issues.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2013/03/05/legislator-back-pedals-on-bicycle-pollution-statment/

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