Maes says bike share threatens ‘personal freedoms’
DENVER — Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes says a Denver bike-sharing program could threaten residents’ “personal freedoms” because it is part of an attempt to control U.S. cities.
Maes said last week that an international environmental group that promotes Denver’s B-Cycle program is part of a “greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”
The group to which Maes was referring, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, is an association with more than 1,200 communities as members, half of which are in the United States. Denver became a member in 1992.
Maes made the comments at a rally where he criticized Democratic Mayor John Hickenlooper’s initiative to increase bicycling in the Denver through the bike-sharing program. B-Cycle allows people to use about 400 bicycles at dozens of stations around the city for a daily or monthly fee.
“This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said in comments that were first reported Wednesday by the Denver Post.
Maes’ campaign said the candidate was illustrating the “larger picture of what this organization represents” and its “extreme” views on global warming.
Nate Strauch told The Associated Press that Maes was trying to say that the biking initiative is a “gateway program” being pushed by ECLEI on cities that eventually lead to extreme measures, such as the promotion of abortions and population control.
Maes is facing a primary challenge Aug. 10 against Republican Scott McInnis. The winner will face Hickenlooper in November.