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Monday, October 31, 2011

Well Said!

Letter to the Editor in the Idaho Statesman responding to a letter complaining about cyclists paying their "fair share".
BOISE - Paula Riehl of Boise (letters, Oct. 19) would have you believe that bicyclists are a bunch of freeloaders who ply the roads on specially designated lanes for free, at the expense of the hard-working, taxpaying drivers who have graciously allowed our presence. She suggests that we pay additional license fees to maintain the patchwork of bike lanes through our communities.

Well, Ms. Riehl, let me tell you something. The vast majority of bicyclists are just like you. We have cars, we pay taxes and we use the roads for both automobile and bicycle travel.

The major difference is that we, as taxpayers, believe that some small percentage of those dollars should be spent ensuring bicyclists safe and efficient passage from one place to another. Not unlike what you expect for your car. Given the growing number of bicycles in our community, we probably need to devote even more money to bike lanes. Just to make it fair.

Dave Fotsch,
Ada Bike Alliance, Boise
I would also add that a very large portion of our road funding, especially on local roads, is from property taxes, not fuel taxes and registration fees. So, when we get a 5-foot bike lane on a 5-lane road, who is really paying their "fair share"?

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