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Re: NYTimes.com: Freakonomics: Are Bicyclists Free Riders?

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  • Richard Risemberg
    ... To which I submitted the following comment: In the first place, bicyclists do pay--and overpay--for their use of roads. Especially if they don t also
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2009
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      On Apr 2, 2009, at 10:43 PM, danarossphoto@... wrote:

      > Freakonomics: Are Bicyclists Free Riders?
      > By Freakonomics
      > | Do bicyclists contribute their fair share to the transportation
      > network? An Oregon lawmaker thinks not, and has proposed a law
      > requiring cyclists to pay a $54 registration fee every two years. A
      > Portland bike blog interviewed the lawmaker in question, who
      > explained the proposal this way: "[B]ikes have used the roads in
      > this state [...]


      To which I submitted the following comment:

      In the first place, bicyclists do pay--and overpay--for their use of
      roads. Especially if they don't also drive.

      Car fees and taxes cover between 16% and 40% of the direct cost of
      maintaining a huge road and parking network for drivers--studies from
      Wisconsin (Mark E. Hansen) to Texas (Texas DOT ( http://www.txdot.gov/
      KeepTexasMovingNewsletter/11202006.html#Cost ) show this.

      Bicyclists don't need extra lanes just for parking, and huge freeways
      and interchanges either. Car taxes DON'T pay for all of that;
      driving is subsidized through general fees and taxes, paid by
      bicyclists as well as others, many of whom are non-drivers (the very
      old, the very young, the very conscientious).

      And, as pointed out in an earlier comment, bicyclists don't tear up
      the tiny portion of those bloated roads they do use, and so don't
      require the state to engage in constant expensive repairs.

      This leaves out the high social and financial cost of pollution,
      global warming, and public health mitigations, also paid out of
      general taxes, to cover the ill effects of cars-I am speaking only of
      road costs.

      So if you look at the full accounting, drivers OWE money to cyclists--
      especially cyclists who don't also drive.
      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.bicyclefixation.com
      http://www.newcolonist.com
      http://www.rickrise.com







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