Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Our Time!

Why an additional road tax for bicyclists would be unfair

by Elly Blue

In tight economic times, when it's hard to scrape together the cash to fill potholes, even this low level of bicycle spending is often put on hold. But what if, instead, the road tax overpaid by bicyclists were invested into making city streets safer, more comfortable, and more convenient for bicycling? New York City has been doing just that, resulting in tens of thousands of people taking to the streets on two wheels and -- if those people would otherwise be making those trips by car -- saving the city a whole hell of a lot of cash.

Yet the myth of bicyclists as freeloaders is gaining ground. Proposals for bicycle registration schemes crop up every few months, usually from conservative politicians looking for someone to blame, but also at times from well-meaning bicycle advocates. Never mind that no such program has ever managed to pay for its own administrative costs. Nothing is accomplished by putting up barriers to active transportation. Instead, these barriers need to be removed.

Cities -- and taxpayers -- can't afford not to invest in bicycling.

The Rest of the Story

1 comment:

fwbikecommuter said...

It's funny because I think it was over a year ago, I put up an article from some western state about taxing cyclists and I said that I would pay it. Idiot. Great informative piece. I don't necessarily understand how the projects get paid for but thought provoking to be sure.