As city cycling programs proliferate, so does temptation to tax the cyclists

  • Article by: JASON KEYSER , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 26, 2013 - 12:50 PM

CHICAGO — Early blasts of snow, ice and below-zero temperatures haven't stopped a surprising number of Chicago cyclists from spinning through the slush this winter, thanks in part to a city so serious about accommodating them that it deploys mini-snow plows to clear bike lanes.

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WHIMSEYDec. 26, 1311:14 AM

Applaud people who walk and or who ride bikes. Do not punish them with a tax. Think healthy life style not pollution causing vehicles.

QbikerDec. 26, 1311:17 AM

I'm neither a Conservative or a Liberal and I'm definitely not the 1% wealthy. I'm all for people paying their fair share in taxes, but a bike tax?! Come on! That person's quote in the article was correct, "what's next, a shoe tax for walkers?! All this proposed legislation does is punish bikers. I use my bicycle and I think it would deter people from biking in bike lanes. Stupid idea!

mattaudioDec. 26, 1311:24 AM

So. Instead of leaving our (taxes-paid) cars in our garages and biking around the city, folks would rather have us driving more, congesting more streets with more vehicles and taking up parking spaces at our destinations. Brilliant! #handmeetface

mattaudioDec. 26, 1311:25 AM

Conservatives are anti-tax and anti-regulation. Unless it's increasing taxes and regulation on bikers. #hypocrisy

mattaudioDec. 26, 1311:29 AM

It's about time we start charging those freeloaders... drivers! Time to start charging for every street parking space. Enough with the pro-car social engineering.

mwibachDec. 26, 1311:38 AM

Bikers should be asked to contribute to the infrastructure and services they use. This would then be used to build more infrastructure benefiting bikers, as more money came in. Or, you could just ticket and fine them for running stop signs.

kkjerDec. 26, 1311:39 AM

I have been riding bikes since I was a little kid. I grew up in a town that required all bicycles to have a license. I see no reason why bike riders shouldn't have a license on there bike at nominal fee, maybe 20 dollars a year. I currently own 4 bikes would be more than willing to kick in for the upkeep of bike lanes AND PATHS.

sek2undrstndDec. 26, 1311:42 AM

Leave it to the urban liberals, they have never met a tax they didn't like. Next you know, they will be taxing you for eating unhealthy foods and drinking unhealthy drinks.

pomooneDec. 26, 1311:46 AM

I'm a fairly liberal individual who bikes and drives (mostly the latter). I see the potential value in developing an infrastructure that maximizes the potential for fast and reliable transportation. Given the reality that population climbs while land is finite, we need to establish better public transportation options, as well as bicycle lanes. However, I am also willing to pay for that, and I'd guess a majority of bikers would, too. In our current era of "slipper-slope politics," we tend to be knee-jerk about ANYTHING that represents a challenge to our political views (e.g. background checks now, and tomorrow they will take away all of our guns; or, $25 bike tax now, ban on all bikes from streets to preserve more "profitable" cars tomorrow!). Level-headed people know good infrastructure has costs, and we need to pay for it. That said, car transit is heavily subsidized well beyond gasoline and license taxes - even those who never drive a car pay quite a bit for roads and bridges through other taxes and fees. There really needs to be a large-scale study that effectively measures and communicates, once and for all, what the costs and savings are for all transportation investments.

gopher68Dec. 26, 1311:55 AM

I say that bikers should pay their fair share for roads and upkeep as soon as motorists pay their fair share. Right now in MN, gas taxes and license fees cover about 1/3 of total transportation spending. General fund (i.e., state income tax) and local property tax levies provide the majority of transportation spending. So motorists don't have a logical position to argue that cyclists aren't paying their fair share.


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