Heck yea R-G! A great article that says what we already know. The comments offer some great insight into the opposition as well. Things like “bikes cause more pollution because cars have to slow down and wait for them.” Wowzers…
Here are the main reasons why I didn’t return to WBE after taking a hiatus for gradschool.
- Biking, juggling, and playing guitar is more fun and more fulfilling that writing for WBE.
- Being a teacher takes a lot of time.
- I think the rate of progress for bikes in this city, state, and country is embarrassingly and pitifully slow, and I can no longer be all “sun shiny” when reporting bike news. The advocates who work tirelessly for things like bike lanes on Willamette are awesome, but I can no longer report on issues like that without making the obvious comment that if it weren’t for all the anti-bike assholes in this town this wouldn’t even be a debate, and those assholes can all go screw themselves.
- I’m tired of yelling into the damn wind about shit like this. I’ve posted about how stupid a bike tax is before, and now I’m having to do it again, because apparently Senator George is too stupid to use Google.
Without further ado: Why people who think bikes don’t pay their fair share, and want to tax them, are stupid idiots.
Note: The following editorial was written for the Sept 29th issue of BANG! This version is slightly longer and annotated. Elly Blue of Grist and BikePortland published a similar article recently, and I’ve added some of her perspective to mine. You can read her incredible article here.
A Silly Question
One of the biggest debates that we see in the transportation world is whether we should spend money on car infrastructure or bike and pedestrian infrastructure. It’s a common debate, but it’s also silly. It’s silly because those two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive – good bike infrastructure benefits cars and vice-versa. It’s also silly because the debate compares apples to oranges, or more aptly: huge friggin’ GMO hydroponic tomatoes to tiny cherry tomatoes. Car infrastructure is expensive, and bike infrastructure is cheap. Ridiculously cheap. Funding bike infrastructure is the best value per dollar for improving all types of transportation in Eugene. It provides for safe and attractive bike and pedestrian facilities which remove cars from the road and relieve congestion.
If you don’t drive a car, even for some trips, you are subsidizing those who do — by a lot. … To balance the road budget, we need 12 people commuting by bicycle for each person who commutes by car.
Consider this: Portland’s entire 300 miles of bike infrastructure – including bike lanes, paths, and bike boulevards, costs the same as one mile of urban highway. That’s 60 million dollars, if you want real dollar amounts. 60 million dollars for one mile! For the cost of just two miles of urban freeway, Eugene could catch and pass Portland and become the most bike friendly city in the country. This is why any debate around whether or not to fund bike infrastructure is so ridiculous. Cyclists want only pennies compared to what car infrastructure gets.