Friday, December 28, 2007

You cyclists suck

Argysnufulufugus links to an article in the Seattle paper that I also saw, thought about posting about and decided not to bother. I really don't have much to say as the article didn't provide any real information other than a bunch of people want cyclists to get off the road and a bunch of other people think the first group are jerks. There's no real analysis or context to really indicate whether either group a)represents a significant constituency or b)their ideas have any actual merit. The only real information provided was the licencing experiment in California, which was primarily done to help identify stolen bikes.

Now, that's not to say that there aren't legitimate arguments on either side. It's just to say that the article itself doesn't provide the reader with any real knowledge. All my reactions are based on my own experience and subject to hasty generalizations. For example, most people I know who suggest licensing bicycles do seem to believe this will remove them from the road (although I've never been able to ascertain how this would work). Additionally, these same people also seemed to want everyone else off the road too. However, that doesn't really prove much since the people I've met don't necesarily represent the views of the general public.

So to summarize: I just thought the article was vapid and lazy.


At Tuesday, January 01, 2008 1:22:00 AM, Blogger Brian said...

I have this conversation (arguement?) at work ALL the time.

First of all, and correct me if I am wrong, HIGHWAYS are paid by license fees and property taxes pay for local roads. So if a co-worker who lives in Snohomish county is bitching about me riding my bicycle to work in Seattle then they REALLY have no leg to stand on.

And the big one... if for any reason on EARTH this should somehow come to fruition and I have to pay a registration fee, I'm riding in the middle of the damn lane all the way to work. It's my lane dammit... I paid for the damn thing

At Tuesday, January 01, 2008 11:03:00 AM, Blogger P-Dog said...

I think the core question is not whether cyclists pay for their fair share of the roads. That can be pretty easily fleshed out with basic accounting analysis.

Every analysis (by actual economists, not policy advocates) I've ever seen (and I will let someone else go find them) suggests cyclists actually pay more in taxes relative to the impact they have on roads (including their entire transportation profile) than cars. IIRC trucks actually pay the lowest (I used to work in transportation so I used to pay attention to those things).

The question is whether the "proposals" to charge bicycles registration fees are really attempts to discourage cycling specifically and symptomatic of a general belief many hold that they are the only ones who deserve to be on the road.

At Tuesday, January 01, 2008 11:10:00 AM, Blogger P-Dog said...

follow-up, one of the reasons I didn't provide studies to reference isn't because I couldn't find plenty. it's because most were unsourced. And I don't like unsourced studies. Having said that, this analysis pretty much summarizes what I remember to be the conclussions of the studies I have seen.


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