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Cameron Sinclair Headshot

Another $2B for Clunkers? How About Bling for Bikes?

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Throughout the nation car lots are dotted with "cash for clunkers" signs and the auto industry are licking their chops to help get those with rusty gas guzzlers traded in for a slightly more efficient new ride. As the Cash for Clunkers program hits its projected target, and is now re-upping for another $2B of taxpayer money, one wonders if non-car or truck owners are getting the shaft.

As a mid-30s city dweller I neither have a drivers license or do I use a car. With public transportation and my trusty two wheeled "clunker" I seem to function pretty well without one. Why is it that tax paying bike owners are helping foot the bill for our gas guzzling colleagues? I'm sure there are various official bodies and auto-execs that can provide data sets up the wazoo over the positive impact of the clunkers program but I wonder if, before using another few billion dollars, whether supporting the United States bike industry might help offset a little more carbon, create better livable communities and help hire a few more hands in this troubled economic downturn.

So what about a "bling for bikes" (re)cycling campaign. Give a $500 voucher to trade in your old granny bike for a US made 'energy efficient' cycle. Heck, throw in a US made messenger bag like Rickshaw Bagworks and let's get the US textile industry a little boost.

Here's a few US manufacturers that you might want to consider;

Aegis
Calfee
Cannondale
Electra Bike
Klein
LeMond Bikes
Merlin
Serotta
Stowe
Trek

I'm sure an enterprising member of Congress or the Senate might want to take this on. Just imagine all the credit you'd get from your constituency if you save one of these companies and all the jobs attached to it. It ain't GM -- but a job, no matter who the employee, is still a job.