Thursday, August 05, 2010

Bike Tax

What is it with all of the people suggesting that cyclists should be taxed or licensed?  You've got to be kidding me.  Stop the madness!

1) Erecting financial barriers to physical fitness is a bad idea.  We ought to do whatever we can to encourage exercise - walking, cycling, running, etc.  Imposing costs will prevent at least some from cycling, and will ultimately put pressure on our health care system.  We are getting fatter, or so I have read.  Let's all get some exercise.

2) All levels of government should do everything they can to promote green methods of transportation.  Whether you accept the theory of climate change is irrelevant.  Cars pollute; bikes do not.  I've cycled through enough exhaust to know that we need less pollution.

3) I am frustrated by those who suggest that cyclists ought to pay for the road since they use it.  By that argument, we ought to tax everyone who uses the roads and sidewalks.  This would include skateboarders, roller bladers, runners, and even pedestrians, including moms pushing baby carriages.

4) Cyclists pay taxes, despite what the anti-cyclists say.  Even renters pay taxes indirectly.  We all pay tax.  Cyclists ought to get a tax break, not penalty for helping the environment and getting some exercise.

5) Bikes do not damage the roads. Cars and trucks damage the roads, and so it makes sense for them to pay for vehicle registration and other fees.

6) Many lower-income residents (especially students) can not afford such a fee.

7) I've read long rants from drivers who complain about cyclists getting in their way, slowing them down on their way to work or to the corner store.  Drivers ought to promote cycling.  Imagine if all of the cyclists they drive past were drivers stuck in traffic in front of them.  Wouldn't it be better to get some of those people out of the cars on the road ahead and make more room on the road?

Imagine a family of four that wants to take a bike ride through some residential streets on a Sunday afternoon.  Suddenly, they have to pay for four licenses?  It's ludicrous.  And, what if you have two bikes?  Do you pay twice?

Despite what Rob Ford believes, cycling is good for everybody.  Rob Ford really needs to hop on a bike and go for a ride.


Super Happy Jen said...

That guy needs some kind of fitness for sure. I'm with him on bike lanes being too dangerous, but the answer isn't no bike lanes, it's safer bike lanes. A median to prevent cars from crossing into the lane! We have bike lanes all over Burlington that are useless because cars drive right into them. I'm a sidewalk biker (especially when I'm towing the kids).

BTW: Good to have you back. Like the new look.

mister anchovy said...

Rob Ford is just a scary blowhard. If we just ignore him, maybe he'll go away.

running42k said...

Well said. All pro-cycling arguments that you put forth are valid.