Bicyclists should pay their share to use public roads
August 18, 2009
To the Editor:
I think the time has come for those of us who pay for all the construction and maintenance of all public thoroughfares to demand that all those who use them also contribute their fair share.
Since our Legislature and governor (who are supposed to represent our interests) passed legislation that raised our taxes (they call it a fee, but in my opinion it is a tax), to supposedly repair our roads and bridges, we need to DEMAND that they pass legislation to spread the cost to all those who use our thoroughfares.
I am referring to the pedal pushers (foot or hand) who clog our roads and up to now have contributed zero to the construction or maintenance of these pathways. Although you or I who wish to drive a vehicle, pull a trailer or ride a motorcycle on any federal, state, county or town roadway must have a license plate on the vehicle plus carry registration and proof of insurance, the pedal pusher vehicles do not.
I propose to all, contact your state lawmakers and tell them to pass legislation regarding pedal-powered vehicles that accomplishes the following:
• All these vehicles on public thoroughfares must have a license plate, with a pedal-pusher fee of $50/year for the rider vehicle, $30/year for attached/towed vehicles.
•All riders over the age of 15 must have on their person (or attached to the vehicle), registration, proof of insurance and photo ID.
• Visitors from out of state pay $10 for a temporary plate good for not more than 30 days, and also meet the requirements above.
The fees paid by the pedal pushers would be used exclusively for bicycle-related projects such as widening public thoroughfares to add dedicated bike lanes. First priority would be to widen two-lane roads in the mountains, then other travel paths (gravel and the like) with all projects to be outside city limits. After all roadways used by pedal pushers are completed, the fees could be used to complete bike trails and such.
BUT, all gas tax and current motor vehicle/trailer fees would be PROHIBITED from being used for any thoroughfare that prohibits motor vehicle use.
It’s time to stop “sharing the road” with all of those who don’t help pay for it, OR get them to pay for the use.