Today Denverites Ride Public Bikes. Tomorrow They’ll Speak Esperanto.

The Colorado governor’s race was always going to be one for sustainable transportation advocates to keep an eye on. The likely Democratic nominee, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, has built a solid resume of support for transit and bicycling. But recent events suggest the green transportation/livable streets stakes may be waaaaay higher than expected.

maes.jpgDan Maes: Don’t count him out of Colorado gov’s race just because he’s crazy. Photo: Denver Post

It turns out that Dan Maes, an insurgent with Tea Party cred vying for the GOP nomination, already has his sights trained on Hickenlooper’s transportation initiatives and their sinister origins.

The week after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Hickenlooper, and a few other guys in suits saddled up to try out Denver’s new bike-share system, B-Cycle, Maes weighed in on what this advance in transportation really means. Read all about the paranoia in the Denver Post:

Maes is warning voters that Hickenlooper’s policies,
particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are "converting Denver
into a United Nations community."

"This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed," Maes told
about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in

Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s
efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were
harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes "that’s exactly the attitude
they want you to have."

"This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms," Maes said.

I work in the shadow of UN global headquarters and, being an enterprising journalist, I’ve seen a draft of this plan. It goes like this: First they lull you into submission with the public bikes. Then they nullify the Bill of Rights, outlaw the English language, and strip away your American citizenship. Then they seize your SUV.

Anyway… Before you dismiss Maes as a fringe character who just showed too much of his crazy side to gain statewide public office, consider this. Three days ago he was edging out his competition in the race for the GOP nomination. If he’s elected, he’ll basically control Colorado DOT’s billion-dollar annual budget. So, all you global government-supporting bike riders out there, there’s no guarantee this will be a laughing matter in November.


Today’s Headlines

Bike-Share Foe Maes Will Face Livability Advocate Hickenlooper in Governor’s Race (Denver Post) More Election Night Results (CNN) Feds on the Verge of Changing Standards That Obstruct Innovative Bikeway Projects (BikePortland) Plane Crash Kills Longtime Oil-State Senator Ted Stevens (The Hill) Did Global Warming Cause an Island of Ice to Break Off Petermann Glacier? (NYT) […]

Today’s Headlines

What Was at Stake in the Midterms? (Transpo Nation, Transport Politic, Grist, The Hill) In Upset, House Transportation Chair Jim Oberstar Ousted (UPI) Scott Walker, No Fan of Rail, Victorious in Wisconsin (AP) Rick Perry Wins; Will Emphasize Highway Construction in Texas (NYT, DMN) In Maryland, a Win for the Purple Line: O’Malley Holds Off Ehrlich (WaPo) […]

What the Results of 8 Governors’ Races Mean for Cities and Transit

Yesterday’s elections returned some of the nation’s most anti-urban, anti-transit governors to power in races where they were supposed to be vulnerable. Pro-transit candidates were unexpectedly routed in some states, though a few did manage to hang on. For more background on these races, check out yesterday’s election preview. Here’s what to expect going forward. […]

Message From Copenhagen: Climate Plan Must Include Walkable Urbanism

The energy-saving benefits of transit aren’t limited to the transportation sector. (Image: Jonathan Rose Companies via Richard Layman) At a panel discussion yesterday at the Copenhagen climate summit, American policymakers and transit experts delivered a clear message: Walkable urban development must be part of any effective plan to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to […]