The P-I writes:
Motorists help pay for roads with gas taxes, tolls and license tabs. Boaters subsidize maritime programs with vessel registration and boat launch fees.
Maybe bicyclists, too, should pitch in for the costs of their trails and lanes.
It’s a suggestion — sometimes born of sincerity, other times of snarkiness — that drivers, tax-weary citizens and others make whenever politicians and cycling advocates talk about investing public money into cycling facilities. Some raised the idea again in recent weeks after the Seattle City Council and Mayor Greg Nickels endorsed a $240 million, 10-year plan for new bike lanes and street upgrades.
I read the story and the “comments” section at the end of the story (“Sound Off” is what it’s called), and the kinds of people who want to register bikes are the kind of people who hate cyclists. I hate some cyclists, but I also hate some drivers as well. It’s all about equal opportunity.
But cycling saves taxpayers money. If large numbers of people switched from SOVs to bikes, we would all save money on road maintenance. The mayor’s ten year cycling plan is cheap as shit compared to any other transportation investment.
I’m not sure where I stand on the idea of making bikers register. My gut tells me it’s not as simple as angry car owners make it out to be. Car owners gripe that they pay for roads through car fees, so why shouldn’t bikers help fund roads and bike lanes and bike trails?
Well, actually car owners pay for roads mostly through gas taxes, not car fees.
And here’s the real rub: Car owners are the ones who use and batter roads and cause congestion and emissions—all things that spike the cost of living for all of us.
Meanwhile, bikes save us all money—lowering congestion, easing emissions, and barely leaving any wear and tear on roads. So, why should government put up a barrier to getting more people on bikes?
Josh and the gang may not know where Federal Way is, but he’s dead on here.
One night after doing the last hour of “The David Goldstein Show,” Goldy was giving me a ride home to Belltown. Underneath the Monorail tracks, 5th Avenue is divided in half, with the center of the street obstructed by the columns. Each half of the one-way street has (I believe) one traffic lane and one parking lane. Me and Goldy were on the left side of the pillars, and as we passed a car going much slower on the right side, I pointed the sight to Goldy:
Me: “Hey look, bicyclists, two abreast, blocking the whole lane.”
Goldy: “Fucking assholes. That’s why people hate cyclists.”
BTW, the cyclists were dressed totally in black with no helmets. Nice. Thankfully, for their sake no gravel trucks were in the area.