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from COP15: talk about bicycles!

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  • Aaron Thomas
    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/8/as_epa_rules_greenhouse_gases_endanger *AMY GOODMAN: *What do you think of this, Mayor Hickenlooper? *MAYOR JOHN
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2009

      *AMY GOODMAN: *What do you think of this, Mayor Hickenlooper?

      *MAYOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: .... You know, I look at some of the ways that the
      Obama administration, they�re doing things that no other administration has
      done. You know, he talked to lobbyists that had been working in Washington
      for fifty years. It�s the first time that the EPA is working hand in glove
      with the Department of Transportation and with Housing and Urban
      Development, with HUD, so that if they�re going to give a billion dollars to
      a city to build a transit system, how do they make sure that they get
      changes in zoning and greater density around each of those transit stops?
      How do they make sure they have affordable housing at each of these transit
      stops? How do they make sure they take brownfield sites at old factories and
      build these new small villages there? *

      I mean, those are the kinds of things that, long term, in cities across
      America, are going to make dramatic changes and help us reach these
      ambitious goals. And they�re already doing that; they�re not waiting to
      legislate that. They�re saying, �Alright, how do we get more money for
      transit? How do we focus our energies on integrating the federal agencies so
      that we can begin moving it?� Because it is. It�s just an enormous challenge
      for everyone. They�re not waiting. They�re already doing it.

      *AMY GOODMAN: *This is why you�re actually here in Copenhagen, is that

      *MAYOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: *Well, the transit side of it, right. We�re
      talking about what are those ways that you integrate transit with bicycles.
      I mean, here we are in Copenhagen. Thirty-seven percent of the people in
      this city, when they go to work in the metropolitan area, ride a bicycle to
      work. I mean, it�s remarkable. Their goal�I met yesterday for an hour with
      the deputy mayor of the environment and transportation, Klaus Bondam, and
      Klaus Bondam described how their next goal is to hit 50 percent. I mean, to
      have half your population, when they go to work on bicycles, they�re
      healthier, the air is cleaner, there�s less carbon emissions, you save
      money. I mean, the benefits are dramatic, and you can see the difference
      just when you walk down the street.

      *AMY GOODMAN: *I mean, we were just in the city council last night at like
      10:30, 11:00. The whole bottom floor of this century-old building is filled
      with not only bicycle racks, but bicycles that fill them.


      *AMY GOODMAN: *And city council members, the guards, everyone are riding in
      and out of the city council on their bicycles.

      *MAYOR JOHN HICKENLOOPER: *Yeah. When I flew in, the fellow next to me on
      the plane is a hotshot young technology expert, makes a huge amount of
      money�doesn�t own a car, rides his bike. You know, he says, �It�s healthier.
      It�s more fashionable.� It�s�you know, it�s what his friends do. And I think
      that�s the whole thing that�when you get to public sentiment, I mean, what
      Lincoln was talking about. We need to change our public sentiment so people
      want to do these things. And it�s not government coming down and being
      punitive, but it�s creating a change, a transformation in our attitudes.

      *AMY GOODMAN: *Damon Moglen, do you think the press is creating that�the
      education necessary for change, when you have a media in the United States,
      for example, brought to us by Exxon Mobil, brought to us by Chevron, brought
      to us by BP?

      *DAMON MOGLEN: *Yeah, no, I don�t, unfortunately. I think that we are not
      seeing the kind of coverage that we need to be seeing. And I think at the
      same time that Mr. Obama himself needs to step up and talk more about
      climate change.

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