Urban Planning bike lane

Published on February 13th, 2012 | by Rhonda Winter


Right Wing Activists Denounce Bike Lanes as Part of an International Conspiracy

bike lane

This is truly  bizarre. In the United States there are now increasing incidents of marginal right wing protesters who are absolutely convinced that sustainable development projects, such as expanded public transit, smart energy meters and bike lanes, are part of a large secret United Nations plot to control all citizens and deny private property rights.

The disruptive local protests at city council meetings across the land are a twisted reaction to a resolution called Agenda 21, a non-binding measure passed by the United Nations back in 1992; but in the last few years the extremists have gained momentum with the rise of more militant groups, like the racist Tea Party and rabid climate change deniers.

The United Nations measure was designed to encourage all member nations to use fewer resources, implement sensible sustainable urban planning measures, and conserve remaining green spaces. The suggested guidelines are just another tool for nations to use to help mitigate climate change and our planet’s dwindling resources, but somehow the suggestion of sensible conservation, utilizing science and empirical data utterly infuriates some fringe elements.

In Maine a project to ease congestion along the Route 1 corridor was thwarted after protesters complained it was part of the United Nations plot. Other ignorant extremists helped to doom a high-speed train project in Florida, and many regions have now removed all funding for a program to better measure and reduce carbon emissions.

The New York Times recently reported on this weird phenomenon of a tiny minority of vocal misinformed citizens attempting to prevent much needed green public projects:

“Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward cities.

They are showing up at planning meetings to denounce bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances — efforts they equate to a big-government blueprint against individual rights.”

I am not certain if these right wing groups are desperate to cling to their contrived plots and uniformed conspiracy theories because they fear change,  or do not want to accept any measure of responsibility for the environmental mess we are in. Perhaps more energy efficient high speed rail and bus transportation just sound too much like commie socialism to these people? Unfortunately, this kind of destructive obstinance by a handful of fearful angry misguided individuals only serves to hurt us all.Keep up to date with all the hottest urban planning news by subscribing to our (free) newsletter.

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About the Author

was raised by wolves, and subsequently has difficulty interacting with other humans; she can also be found on and Twitter.

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  • Kim

    Gee, this isn’t a biased essay is it? Rhonda, have you actually TRIED to research the point of view of why they think they it is a problem, rather than laugh at it?
    And how narrow-minded to just assign name calling that Tea Party People are racists. I have learned over and over, those who call the names are usually the ones guilty of the accusations. So this lets me into the mind of Rhonda and her secret mind…I can debate on the issues and never assign motives, or resort to name calling…I could be talking to SATAN himself and still debate an issue based on the merit of my arguement. Though Rhonda may be the nicest person ever, with the sweetest intentions, it is clear Rhonda has a weak arguement…oh well :/ I understand I used to be the same, and part of the Green Party, and protest in green rallies…but then I actually READ the original sources, and was sick on how fooled I was.

    • Kim

      BTW, I am not saying Rhonda is narrow-minded. I don’t know her…I am saying it is a narrow-minded view to call people names and not really understand the other side, but to just hate them and think it is silly. :)

    • Brett Gustafson

      Regardless of any world conspiracy plan from the UN, why would we not support more access to bike transportation? I have been involved in bike advocacy for over 25 years and in my experience no one that I have interacted with has any interest in the UN at all. They just like biking for various reasons. Conspiracy theories are typically fear-mongering tactics that are community polarizers rather than community builders. A polarized community is a broken community. I personally feel the pinch of $4.00/gallon gas. Anything that we can do to make biking safer in my city seems like a win-win to me.

  • Kim

    Here is a website to check out…and she is a liberal….against this bike lane conspiracy, and loves and uses bike lanes….http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/

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