Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Cycle Answers Stupid Questions: Part 1 of (Sadly) Many

I made the mistake of looking at a feature in our local rag (er, "fine, print-based journalism") today that they call "Your 2 Cents' Worth". Basically, it's a column for people to vent short, uninformed, anonymous opinions at the world (or at least the seven people who still read our local rag) -- think Twitter printed on toilet paper.

The comment that got my goat today came from "East-Side Grandma", but you'll hear similar nonsense being spewed by folks of all ages from all sides of all towns. ESG writes:

"I'm getting ready to get my car tags and pay for the use of the roads we drive on. I think the bike people who use the roads and trails should have to buy tags, too. They should pay for the use and upkeep, not taxpayers who don't ride bikes."

Uh, I got news for you: Those "bike people"? I'd bet that 99.999% of them OWN A CAR. Case in point? Here's mine:


Now, before you get all excited that it doesn't have "car tags" on it, this was the day we bought the thing. I did my civic duty (even though it's a Fit -- see what I did there? Little Honda pun. You get that for free.) I paid my money to the gub'mint, and it's been properly dressed in "car tags" ever since. Oh, and it runs on gasoline, not discarded deep-fryer oil, so I'm paying gas taxes too. In short, I AM A TAXPAYER AND CITIZEN JUST LIKE YOU, AND AS SUCH, I HAVE AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE ON THE ROAD -- WHETHER ON MY BIKE OR IN MY CAR -- AS YOU DO.

(Even if I sold the car and stopped paying for "car tags" and gas, I'd still have every right to be on that road. But I guess it's the "freeloading cyclist" argument that pisses me off the most. You really want fairness? Then make people pay for how much they use. I'll gladly pony up for the space my bike takes up and the damage it does if it means that every jerkwad taking up 1.5 lanes in a 3-ton Hummer is held to the same standard.)

Calming down, calming down, switching to decaf...


Anonymous said...

well, I would comment on how people who make comments on newspaper and the web are generally not the sharpest knives in the drawer, but it seems like it wouldn't work out well for me...

I like the idea of taxing vehicles based on stuff like weight and number of miles traveled. The tracking of the data seems impossible, but the idea is soooo attractive! Maybe just track cell phone data?? Start calling and writing your congressman and get this going!!

Steve in Peoria (spending most of his time on cross country skis, where no one gives you grief about paying taxes)

Steve Fuller said...

Ah yes, the old "freeloading cyclists" rant in the newspaper. I pretty much tune it out anymore. It's impossible to reason with most of those people.

Don't switch to decaf, it's not right. :)

HugFly said...

Roads are typically paid for through properly taxes, not sales tax on car sales, gasoline tax, or licensing fees.

In short, if you pay property taxes (and this indirectly includes renters) you ARE paying for infrastructure development and maintenance.

As a cyclist, I'm causing far less damage to those roads so shut yer aged halitosis ridden cookie hole gramma.