Fund bike lanes with a cyclist use-tax

I am still shaken by what I have read of the recent incident between the local firefighter and Alan Simons. At 72-and-a-half, I occasionally take my bicycle down to the Bent Creek [Experimental Forest] or the North Carolina Arboretum for a ride (mainly, I hike). But I would never ride my bike on the Blue Ridge Parkway or any rural road that did not have a designated bike lane. Like many a local vehicle driver, I have cussed out on-road bicyclists who ride double or singly in the middle of the lane.

I have a partial solution that does not require taxing all of us for designated bike lanes on some rural roads frequented by on-road bicyclists: Why not have them pay for a yearly license tag ($15?) as a Use Tax? And have all the tax go to paving shoulders for designated bike lanes.

As an 8-year-old living in St. Paul, Minn., (this was 1945), I had to pay $5 for a tiny metal tag to put on my bicycle seat. They told us all this money went toward bike safety (we had to show yearly that we knew the "rules of road" before we bought the tag).

And maybe legislation in this direction would get under-50cc moped operators licensed, registered and insured!

— Yale W. Mooers

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11 thoughts on “Fund bike lanes with a cyclist use-tax

  1. nuvue

    As a frequent rider I would support this also.
    I would like to add the income we have paid the violent fire-man for the last month or two. He should be the first out there adding some sweat equity (and his pay) to build some bike lanes.

    Even though we are taxed to death already, this would be a good start to raise some funds for bike lanes. Asheville is long overdue some easier places for bikers.

  2. brebro

    I think all these pedestrians who just HAVE to have sidewalks and crosswalks should be taxed to pay for them and should wear a tag around their necks so we can see who contributed to the high cost of all this concrete and who is just freeloading by walking on them for nothin’.

  3. bicycle tim

    [b]But I would never ride my bike on the Blue Ridge Parkway or any rural road that did not have a designated bike lane. [/b]

    Many ride for necessity and dont have the luxury of choosing their routes, Yale.

    [b]Like many a local vehicle driver, I have cussed out on-road bicyclists who ride double or singly in the middle of the lane.[/b]

    Riding in this manner is not against the law.

    Perhaps you need to return to the DMV and re-take the road test. You seem unaware of current laws.

  4. brebro

    As a person who makes up statistics, I can attest to the fact that 86.3% of “moped” riders are riding those no-license-required motorized bicycles because they lost their license driving drunk too many times and are too fat and lazy to get on a non-motorized bicycle for their trips to the liquor store and Hardees.

  5. Cheshire

    I’m glad you enjoy bicycling for fun. Many people ride for transportation, whether by necessity or choice. It’s a free country. Before you get bent out of shape about those bicycles “choosing” to clog up “your” roads, remember that a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. That’s a choice you chose to make for the same reason: it’s a free country.

    If you want to limit bicycling to bike lanes only, you’re going to have to redo every street, highway, and back road down to every country dead-end except the interstate. Bicycles are allowed on every road except the interstate. Why? Because it’s a form of transportation. Everyone seems to have forgotten that and only sees them as “in MY way.” Blows my mind how egocentric and road-rage prone this area has become.

  6. Genni

    Honestly I wish there were bike lanes because the majority of bikers I see break the road rules. I constantly see them running red lights and cutting through traffic. I hardly ever see one that is cycling safely. If cyclist want respect, they should start obeying the rules.

  7. Piffy!

    Genni-Dont you see lots of cars breaking rules of the road, too?

    Speeding? Rolling through stop-signs? Running cyclists off the road? You cant characterize ALL bicyclists based on how a few act.

  8. James L

    It’s more than a few, and the tired comparison to cars speeding is hardly relevant. If bicyclists want due consideration from other users of the road, they would all take it seriously when other bikers habitually break the rules and set rotten examples for all cyclists. All I ever hear is excuses about it. That’s not going to make anyone any less hostile.

  9. Piffy!

    Because getting “hostile” at every biker because of the actions of a few is a totally ‘reasonable’ response.

    Just like every car who has run me into the ditch is the fault of EVERY driver on the road.

    I mean, if you see a car speeding and dont turn it into the police makes you just as bad, by your logic, James. And despite what you claim, almost all cars I see break some kind of law.

    It’s funny how you people make up excuses to not acknowledge that bikes have a legal right to be on the road. i suspect it’s because you all dont even know the rules of the road.

    Trust me, when I see you driving past me, speeding, i’ll be sure to call 911, since you clearly feel that is the responsible action to take.

  10. chops

    It would make more sense if bicyclists received a tax credit.

    Compared to motor vehicles, bicycles conserve more public resources.

  11. chops

    What we want to do is *encourage* people to ride their bikes — not punish them.

    Like HOV lanes, the thing to do here is just build the bike lanes and hope that people will be enticed by them to transition away from driving cars.

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