Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cyclists and Road taxes

from the San Mateo Daily Journal

> Published Tuesday, March 17, 2009, by the San Mateo Daily Journal
> Letters to the Editor
> Common sense on the roads
> I agree the roads should be for all but I have to register my cars for the
> privilege to use the roads. I think in this era of no money for various city
> and county projects, all bicyclists should pay at least $25 a year to register
> their bikes -- they use the roads -- they should pay.
> I would like to see more cyclists obey traffic rules -- stopping at red lights
> and stop signs, watching out for pedestrians and not riding two or three
> abreast on a two lane street, which makes the cars go into the wrong lane to
> pass them. So we should be courteous of one another, use common sense and we
> should all pay to use the streets.
> Bill Hogan
> Newark

Why is it that "common sense" seems to be "nonsense" so frequently these days.

This has been discussed ad naseum elsewhere but I'll repeat.

Cyclists already contribute their fair share

$25 per year huh? To pay for our usage of the road. I assume Bill thinks that we can then use this money to build some bike lanes or something. In practice, it would cost this much money just to initiate and run the program, leaving little to no money for road improvements. So he's not really asking the cyclists to pay their fair share and rescue the city and county budgets - really it appears he is just trying to put an impediment in front of cyclists. And given that I am a resident of San Francisco - currently prevented from any improvements for cyclists, I would *really* be pissed to pay a fee to make improvements that won't happen because they are prohibited.

Can I assume that once I start paying my fair share, I can bike to work on US-101? Or would that still be verboten?

What's amusing is that Bill Hogan is probably some right wing nut case that complains about how Obama is going to tax us all in some giant money grab, yet he favors this tax.

UPDATE: Pat Giorni responds the next day.

No registration needed for bicyclists


It is the right of anyone in this country to buy a motor vehicle, but to become a licensed driver is a benefit and not an entitlement to operate it on a public thoroughfare. It is indeed a privilege to drive a motor vehicle.

Registration fees are an enforcement tool to ensure vehicles are in legal operational condition with horns, headlights, turn signals and brakes in good working order, along with emissions standards compliance. Bicyclists and pedestrians do not present the lethal possibilities of the operation of motor vehicles, but they are also bound by regulations that are designed to make the streets safer for all users.

That pedestrians jaywalk and cyclists fail to stop at red lights are enforcement issues whereby I agree that citations should be issued. We are all bound by the rules of the road.

Paid registration of bicycles is discriminatory if all other forms of non-motorized transportation is not subject to the same requirement. What next, wheelchairs, baby strollers, shoe-leather?

Pat Giorni



Nick said...

I'll pay $25/year to ride my bike on the street if I can be excused from paying my share of the Iraq war, since it's real purpose is to ensure access to a resource I'm not using!

Anonymous said...

Here, here!

Great post.