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Who Pays for our Roads?

0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
Steve suggested that a new topic be started for this. So, here goes.

Why are motorists paying for bicycle paths?
Bicycles pay no registration, no license and more importantly, no insurance.

They pay no fuel tax, no road tax and no mileage taxes. Bicycles get a completely free ride and force states to make them special roads, lanes or designated areas for them.

Bicyclists are exempt from insurance, because they are not motorized? Seems wrong to me. ALL vehicles, motorized or not, that use the roadways, should be required to have insurance on them.

Now many will say that bicycles allow some people to commute to work and cut down on emissions when they do that. I will buy that.
I see where bicycle paths and lanes in cities are worth having. I have no argument there.

But...........
Why is the tax paying (heavily taxed, mind you) for bicycle roads, paths and lanes in "scenic" byways? As far as I am concerned, that is a tourist industry thing and the tourist/travel industry should be paying for that, not the general motorist public.

Where I live, the brilliant state uses fuel tax dollars to build bicycle lanes on the highways. One highway is a busy coast highway, that is in severe need of repair, but the legislators see a better use of the money in putting in bike lanes on the edge of the highway. Brilliant.
This puts the motorist and bicyclist in harms way.

So who pays for these paths? Motorists.
Is that fair to the motorists? Nope. Not at all.
My opinion, when bikes pay a registration and license, then give them all the bike paths they want. Until then, I'm not too keen on my tax dollars going to them.

Anyway, that's my opinion on this subject.
Oh, by the way, if this isn't in the right category, can someone move it?
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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,847
    Special use roads, trails, paths and lanes are becoming more common everywhere. It seems more like welfare to me. Then I have always been against tax expenditures for anything other than what it was originally collected for. Maybe the cities should impose a special tax on bicycles when they are sold. Say $100 to be put in the bike trail fund. It should not come from gas tax.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Absolutely!!!! Fuel tax for FUELED VEHICLE ISSUES ONLY!!!!

    Not to mention, when was the last time you saw a cyclist OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS????? They are pompous and arrogant.
  • nonjth13nonjth13 Posts: 89
    Well, I dislike bicylists who insist on riding the white line when there is an adequate shoulder more than most. I also like to ride a bicycle to do errands when I can. Helps save the world and all that. In my locality, most local roads don't even have an adequate shoulder on which to ride so I am forced to drive as I refuse to argue with a 2 ton motorized vehicle. I can see no reason not to use transportation funds to construct bike lanes. They cost almost nothing during a road rebuild. If bike lanes were universally available then maybe the ludicrous laws that give bicycles the same right to a busy road as automobiles could be changed. Arrogant bicyclists are another kettle of fish altogether.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    Up in WA, the fuel taxes are already diverted to the state's freakin ferry system which only benefits the Peoples Republic of Puget Sound. :sick:
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    Cancel the ethanol subsidy and apply all of that money to paving bicycle trails. Take away the tax credit on hybrid vehicles and apply the debit towards bicycle trails. Cancel the government funding for oil research and apply it to bicycle trails. With the leftover money, free healthcare for all. New taxes are not required. Getting rid of even a small portion of the current corruption will subsidize it. I think I heard Gagrice mention this on another thread. The bike trails are NOT to be placed in a state park (which would encourage a person to DRIVE to a park and then ride a bicycle for leisure to the middle of nowhere). The bike trails are to be placed in heavy traffic areas to relieve car congestion to and from work and shopping areas.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    Socialistic ideas are fine in China, but here the internal combustion engine and the vehicle is to be raised up, honored, and provided for by laying more concrete for more highways and byways. Going back to bikes is not progress. :P
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,958
    Is that Joni Mitchell I hear playing in the background? ;)

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  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    You can do that nonsense WITHOUT my taxpayer money. I'm half tempted to cancel all of my income earning endeavors and live strictly off the principal to prevent the moronic expenditure of my money on junk such as roads and bridges that last 10 years.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    In phoenix, bike paths are mostly just a "part of the road." Very little extra money is spent maintaining them, other than a painted stripe.

    Most bikers have cars also, which they drive. So they pay their part via the costs associated with driving their car and insuring it and paying fuel taxes.

    How many people in the USA use bikes ONLY and do not have a car?

    My guess is not very darn many.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847
    near my house that runs on an old railroad right-of-way. It's maintained by Maryland National Park and Planning. Which gets its funding mainly from property taxes, I think. So I'm paying for that trail whether I use it or not. And I'd also be paying for that trail if I quit driving!

    The only way I could get out of paying for that trail would be to sell my house and become a renter!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,958
    There were huge bike path arguments when I lived in Anchorage in the 80's. Lots of miles of them got built in spite of the naysayers.

    A year or two after the paved trails went in, all these old guys who moaned and groaned about wasting money on them started writing mea culpas to the newspaper. Seems that as they had their heart attacks, they were spending an hour a day walking on doctor's orders. After a few trips trying to walk along busy roads, they figured out that bike paths were a much preferred alternative.

    Then everyone figured out that having close access to a bike path increased their property values and helped their houses sell faster.

    And they turned into a big tourist attraction too.

    Bike commuters often prefer the surface streets because that can be more direct and faster.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,847
    A year or two after the paved trails went in, all these old guys who moaned and groaned about wasting money on them started writing mea culpas to the newspaper. Seems that as they had their heart attacks, they were spending an hour a day walking on doctor's orders. After a few trips trying to walk along busy roads, they figured out that bike paths were a much preferred alternative.

    I'll admit that I use our bike path sometimes, so I do get some enjoyment out of it. Sometimes I wish it actually WENT somewhere, but it doesn't. Unless you want to go to the Patuxent River on one end, or Glenn Dale Hospital at the other end. There also aren't very many access points to the trail...just one parking area near the Patuxent and another one behind Glenn Dale Hospital.

    But, I guess if nothing else, the lack of accessibility and the fact that it's useless for commuting makes means that it's usually not very crowded, so it's more enjoyable for the few that do use it.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    Having been an orchestra conductor, the artist you were hearing from my MBQuart speakers was Wagner followed by
    Beethoven.

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  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    In phoenix, bike paths are mostly just a "part of the road." Very little extra money is spent maintaining them, other than a painted stripe.
    Actually, you would be surprised to know that they aren't just part of the road and they cost quite a bit to maintain.

    Most secondary highways are not required to have extensive shoulders, meaning that the pavement isn't required to extend very far past the fog line.
    With the advent of bicycle lanes, they require specified widths of the bike lanes, which is an added cost.
    Then there is the maintenance of the bike lanes, like sweeping them (liability concerns mean the bike paths MUST stay clean or someone will sue the state when their tiny tires slip on gravel. Yes, it has happened.), patching them (which normally the shoulders aren't patched) and sending crews out every time there is a bicyclist complaint to check the condition of the bike lane.

    Most bikers have cars also, which they drive. So they pay their part via the costs associated with driving their car and insuring it and paying fuel taxes.
    I gotta disagree.
    In most states (I can't say all, cause I haven't checked on all states) pay their "fair share" when they use their vehicles.
    That amount barely covers the costs of road maintenance only. The fuel taxes were never meant to cover bike lanes.
    Most states have tried to get increases on fuel taxes to cover bike lane costs, but most have been voted down.

    And since you brought up insurance, you know who covered my vehicle when a bicyclist hit my truck and crunched the door?
    It was parked, by the way. My insurance.
    Because bikes don't have insurance, my only recourse was to file a civil suit to try and recoup my money.

    But, don't take my word for it, contact your local highway dept and ask them where the funds go.
    I wish everyone would ask where the funds go. You will be surprised.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, I stand by my statement that most bikers own and maintain a car and pay their fair share in that way. I don't know nor have I ever in 44 years on Earf known an adult who has A) a real job and B) only a bicycle for transportation. I am of course not saying it does not happen - I am saying that the percentage of bicyclists who use road-side bike lanes and who also drive a car is obviously VERY high.

    After a brief search of bicycle path costs on Google, it does appear they cost a lot to build but I can find nothing that shows they cost a lot to maintain.

    The cost to build could not possibly be passed on to bikers - that would mean thousands of dollars per biker to even make a dent in the cost of building them. That would be non-doable.

    Still looking for stories or data which state the cost to maintain already-built bike lanes.........
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,847
    My 56 year old sister is a college professor in Seattle. She has never owned a car. Rides her bike rain or shine, mostly rain. Has done so since she started college in Seattle. Spent two 1 year tours teaching in China and rode a bike there also. I cannot believe she is the only one.

    I will say it is a GOOD way to save money. I know she now lives on a very nice boat with her husband.

    The bike paths in Anchorage as mentioned by Steve are mainly for pleasure. I think they are probably funded by high property tax and oil revenue.

    As we get more and more free services someone has to pay. You don't want people riding the bus to pay. You don't want people on bikes to pay. Just who do you think should pay?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I did not say the number of people who owned a bike but did not drive a car was ZERO. I said "the percentage of bike riders who use a road-side bike lane AND do not own a car is very low."

    And I'd stake my life on that being a fact.

    When did I say anything about people riding a bus not paying for anything?

    And I just got through saying that people who ONLY ride a bike could not possibly afford to come anywhere CLOSE to paying it.

    What do you think the alternatives are? Eliminate bike lanes?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,958
    I have a relative in Seattle who has never owned a car - never even have a license afaik, and he's about the same age as your sister. He used to bike a lot but now mostly walks and takes public transit. He also managed that same trick in San Diego for many years.

    The property taxes in Anchorage are about the same as here in Boise unless they've soared since we left 7 years ago. The oil revenues were probably key, unless the paths were one of Uncle Ted's earmarks. :P I lived close to Cal Worthington Ford and would ride the Chester Creek bike path to town a lot. Nice for XC skiing all winter too. It got a lot of use.

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  • ggurr54ggurr54 Posts: 30
    get off your fat butt and ride somewhere and maybe you could do something about that rage your feeling. I ride, I drive and I much prefer the common sense of people who do both. They seem much more rooted in reality.
  • 0patience0patience Posts: 1,542
    get off your fat butt and ride somewhere and maybe you could do something about that rage your feeling. I ride, I drive and I much prefer the common sense of people who do both. They seem much more rooted in reality.
    Your post was way out of line.

    You have no idea who I am or the shape I am in.
    You post shows you have no common sense.
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