Earlier this week, over at Slog, Erica dismantled Jim Vesely’s proposal that bikers pay a $25 bike license fee for bike lanes and trails. Vesely’s idea might make some sense if accommodating biking didn’t also benefit car owners, and more important, if bikers didn’t have to simultaneously pay taxes and levies to fund roads that are largely dedicated to cars.
As Erica correctly points out, car owners do benefit from bikes and bikers are helping subsidize car owners:
Add on other shared costs related to cars—pollution, land use costs—and it’s hard to ignore that everyone, including those who don’t own cars, are subsidizing cars.
In turn, bikers shouldn’t be the only taxpayers to fund bike lanes.
I’m revisiting Vesely’s ignorant editorial a few days late because it’s hard to ignore another example that’s come up this week where the public—bikers included—are going to be paying for car owners: The Feds are about to commit $15 billion to bail out GM, Chrysler, and Ford.
I’m not saying bikers should be exempt from saving the auto industry, but as the kids say, I’m just sayin.