Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Bicycle licenses. What a great idea.

Bicyclers across the region are known as accommodating and uncomplaining — as long as they get their way. Now is the time for them to show it by contributing to the public trough.

Will any of this happen? No, because from my perch, I don't know of a single, elected public official with the guts to propose a bike tax.

Guts? More like stupidity. But the man does have a point. I never could understand why cyclists have always been given a free ride. It's not enough that they pay every tax just like everyone else except a gas tax--unless they also own a vehicle. In that case maybe Kent could be considered an absolute freeloader since he doesn't own a vehicle and consequently doesn't chip in his fair share by buying gas at the pump. Imagine how much money could be collected, especially from real cyclists who have a mountain bike, a commuter bike, a road bike, a beater bike, etc.

If you think you can stand the aggravation, go ahead and read the op-ed. It's full of poorly thought out bad ideas. But don't say I didn't warn you.


Jacque Hendrix said...

I'm all for paying my fair share.

Hank Greer said...

You already are.

Pat S said...

The general idea of a bike tax is great, IMO. I've paid attention to other communities that use one responsibly and intellectually and beneficially. But this narrow-minded, loud-mouthed, anti-bike dipshit pretty much epitomizes the "get off my road" mentality. His logic is so skewed that I wanna puke.

It boils down to 'what is society doing for cycling' vs 'what is cycling doing for society'. To speak bluntly, if you can't see what cycling is doing for society, then you're not on the side of the environment.

Thanks for getting me all fired up, Hank!

Hank Greer said...

You can tell what his mindset is when he mentions having the cops check all the cyclists at a Critical mass ride, but says nothing about the thousands they could check at STP or any of the multitude of organized rides held by various clubs. Then there's the idea that the police have the resources to check bike licenses. Heck, Spokane has a helmet law but the only time you see it enforced is when there's an emphasis patrol, just as you have with crosswalks, jaywalking, speeding in school zones, etc.

The only good reason I can think of for licensing bikes--and there certainly can be others--is for the purpose of registering it so that if it's ever stolen and recovered the owner could be contacted. But as fungible and transferable as bikes are, I don't know if it would be cost effective. But to license bikes just to create a revenue stream doesn't make much sense to me, probably because I'm biased. The impact of bicycles on the road is minimal. You can build a Centennial Trail and expect it to last much, much longer than any arterial.