McGinn's Walk/Bike/Ride Challenge - Bad for Taxpayers?

We'd rather they got to where they need to be, and quickly.

Mayor Mike "The Bike" McGinn has persuaded a slew of public officials to set aside their cars during the month of July and get around solely by biking, walking, or taking public transit.But is that really a good use of taxpayer money?First, let's clear something up: Although it wasn't mentioned in the mayor's official announcement on the subject—or in the Walk/Bike/Ride Challenge's official name—carpooling is acceptable. That's how the extraordinarily mature columnist-cum-councilmember Jean Godden will be getting from meeting to meeting until month's end, her staff tells the Weekly.But doesn't simply riding shotgun or being picked up by your chief aide each morning go against the spirit of the car-free initiative? Probably. Yet if that's cheating, we hope all the participants follow Godden's lead—or worse (meaning better) yet, put on flame-retardant suits and jump in the cockpits of a fleet of Indy cars and pass old Volvos on the shoulder to get where they need to get. Because not even a well-intentioned effort to remove citizens from their cars should stand in the way of public officials serving those citizens as efficiently as possible.If public officials want to bike, bus, or crawl to and from work, that's their prerogative. But if such greener-than-thou behavior gets in the way of providing the highest level of service to constituents while they're on the clock (and aren't electeds always kind of on the clock?), then good intentions will produce bad results. Besides, you know it's only a matter of time before some of these do-gooders jet away on some far-flung junket in order to discuss how to make their cities more pedestrian-friendly.

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