Apparently Mary Peters thinks it isn’t. And she’s Secretary of Transportation, so her opinion counts for a lot. Thus, her department’s plans for improving transportation in the United States includes a proposal to cut funding for bike trails in order to free up money to be spent on good old fashioned highways.
Now clearly it’s true that a lot of people bike for recreational purposes. That said, I got to work today by . . . riding my bike. And I got to work Friday by . . . riding my bike. Indeed, I commute to work on my bike most every day. And to buy groceries. I use it, in other words, to transport myself from place to place. That sounds a lot like transportation to me. And encouraging people, at the margin, to substitute cycling for some of their driving trips would be good for the environment and good for public health. So I don’t see a really compelling case for shifting funding further in the direction of highways.