In my post two days ago, “As a matter of fact, we DO own the roads,” I argued that motorists who rant about getting cyclists off of THEIR streets are mistaken, as cyclists subsidize motorists by paying more than their fair share of costs for roads. Today I have agreement from what some may consider a surprising source: the mainstream media. On the front page of the Business section of the Vancouver Sun, Don Cayo quotes Todd Litman’s research study “Whose roads?” (as I also did).
Check out Cayo’s very interesting post, “On city streets, bike riders already pay more than their share”.
Some of us who cycle despair that the mainstream media always takes the side of the car, for obvious financial reasons (such as advertising revenue). So it’s really great to see an article like this.
Here’s a really interesting point Cayo makes. Say you see a cyclist and a motorist in downtown Vancouver. Odds are the motorist could be from a neighboring suburb, so he or she has contributed nothing at all to the roads he or she is driving on (as Vancouver’s roads are financed primarily by Vancouver property taxes). However, the cyclist is most likely to be from Vancouver, as cyclists don’t usually travel such long distances as motorists.
So of the two, it’s the motorist who’s getting an absolutely free ride, and the cyclist who is paying for the road!
Predictably, Cayo’s pro-cyclist post attracted the usual, ignorant, hate-filled responses, including one from a Terry Masson who is looking forward to the rainy season so that he can go out of his way to soak cyclists. I can only assume that some people have very sad little lives … I assume if Terry had loved ones to go home to, he would not be focused on tormenting total strangers. Sad … pathetic … but true.
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