Bicycles do not belong on the roadways!

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Kordite
Participant
#

-where does the money actually come from that builds and maintains roads? 100% TAX MONEY… AT LEAST $.50 OF EVERY GALLON OF GAS GOES TO “ROAD TAX”. i KNOW YOU BUY GAS FOR YOUR CAR BUT YOUR BIKE IS A SEPERATE (sic) VEHICLE.

Oooh, ohh. Let me at this one.

The “Gas Tax” was instituted to pay for roads, that much is true. However, the tax has not kept pace with costs to the point now that most of the funding for the construction, maintenance and repair of roads come from the general funds. That means that even if I don’t have a car and do not buy gas, I am still paying for most of the roads that you use.

You’re welcome.

But lets say, for example, that the tax did pay for the road and, as you suggest, since I use the road then I should also pay my share for it. I think that’s fair.

What I also think is fair would be that the amount of wear and tear put on the road should be comparable to the amount of tax paid. Big heavy trucks cause a lot more damage than something like a compact car and so it’s fair that they pay more. This is somewhat reflected in the gas tax in that larger vehicles have poorer gas mileage and thus end up paying more in taxes. Of course, that means electric cars and bicycles are going to get off scott-free, as it were. So, let’s talk about a mileage tax. When you fill out your registration or get your car inspected, the state looks at your mileage. It seems fair then to pay on a per mile basis.

So, what should we pay per mile? Well, since heaver vehicles cause more damage, there should be a formula to balance that. Mini Coopers pay less, M1 Abrams tanks pay a lot. Highway engineers use just such a formula when they are building roads. They use the speed of the vehicles multiplied by the axle weight to the 4th power.

So, let’s do some math.

Though cars can go very much faster than a bicycle, lets just talk about city or suburban driving. A car on city street might go about 25-30 mph while a bicycle tends to run at around 10 to 15 mph. Let’s just say for simplicity that the car goes twice as fast as a bike. (remember that number)

Cars and bikes have the same number of axles (2) so we can ignore that number.

Now here’s the big one. The average car in the US weighs 4,000 pounds. The average assumed weight of a person (used by engineers) is 180 pounds and a typical bicycle weighs around 30 pounds for a total of 210 pounds. That means the car is 19 times heavier than a bicycle and bicyclist.

Now, let’s put it all together. Remember the formula: road damage equals speed times weight to the 4th power. That means 2 (the number of times faster that the car goes) times (19 (the number of times that the car is heavier) times 19 times 19 times 19) That means that the car causes 260,642 times more damage to the road than the bicyclist. Thus, to be fair, the car driver should pay 260,642 times the road tax.

What does the typical driver pay now? Well, the average number of miles driven per year (12,000) divided by the average gas mileage (25 mpg) equals 480 gallons of gas used per year. Multiply that by the 50 cent a gallon gas tax and the average car driver is paying only $240 a year in gas taxes. Personally, I think you’re getting that on the cheap. But, if we insert the number we calculated above, the driver is causing 260,000 times the damage so the cyclist should be paying 260,000 times less. That’s something less than a dollar every thousand years.

That’s fair, right?


Anonymous #

I’ll very happily pay that tax, all 1000 years, up front, if we can institute it across the board!

Would be a beautifully appropriate incentive that would be for people to drive a vehicle that’s not a tank and might allow the other guy to survive in case of a crash. Stop the roadway arms race, support the axle weight tax now!


jonawebb
Participant
#

Also from Bikeyface,

Edit: BTW one of the peculiar results of the analysis is that people should pay a lot more to ride on buses. A lightly loaded city bus weighs 12 tons and has two axles, so causes 6**4 as much damage as a 2 ton car, i.e., 1296 times as much damage. The average ridership on a bus is 10 people, but even heavily loaded with 60 people (and not taking into account the additional weight) that would mean over 20 times as much damage per person as an average car carrying one person. So bus riders should pay far more than car riders for road maintenance.


Anonymous #

Given the quality of the roads where a lot of buses run, that’s an unsurprising outcome to me.

Perhaps considering maintenance costs, over the long haul rail isn’t a boondoggle after all?


edmonds59
Participant
#

re: “The “Gas Tax” was instituted to pay for roads, that much is true. However, the tax has not kept pace with costs to the point now that most of the funding for the construction, maintenance and repair of roads come from the general funds. That means that even if I don’t have a car and do not buy gas, I am still paying for most of the roads that you use.”

Also, don’t forget that the largest chunk of the Federal and State general funds that we all pay into go toward building/maintenance of limited access highways that bikes can’t even use! Aggh! Unfairness!

Now don’t weep too hard because the trucks that bring our food and clothes and obsolete vintage ebay bike component purchases use those roads, so we all use them indirectly.

The bottom line is we live in a complex web of relationships and we all need to get along and help one another, and b. bikes do belong on the (non-limited access) roadways.


cburch
Participant
#

bussing is an economic loss leader. it is and should be subsidized.

i pay taxes that pay for a lot of things i dont use. i also use a lot of things that my portion of taxes barely puts a dent in. thats kind of the point of taxes. we all pitch in and have more than we could alone.


rsprake
Participant
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My whole point of this to to promote safety and awareness and to be honest the safest solution is to remove the cyclist from the roadways, even if you don’t want to admit it.

If we wanted to use “it’s dangerous” as a reason to remove anyone from the roadways there would be no cars.

http://sillydrivers.tumblr.com/

You keep asking why you can’t drive a golf cart on the road and you can’t because it’s illegal. Perhaps you can start a membership driven golf cart advocacy group to work towards getting the laws updated.


Kordite
Participant
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“So bus riders should pay far more than car riders for road maintenance.”

I won’t say my reasoning is perfect, or even preferable as tax policy, but such an argument easily destroys the “You don’t pay your fair share” argument of autodominionists.


Anonymous #

This guy is sure self centered and selfish. Goodness, there are a lot of people these days that don’t have a car and can’t afford one, but need to get to and from work. I guess this moron feels they should stay at home and live off the taxpayers? Many can’t get a bus due to many factors. I can’t take a bus because I work in the middle of the night and there are no buses at those hours to and from my home to work. Get over yourself moron, you aren’t that important.


jonawebb
Participant
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And, ironically, it turns out that auto drivers subsidize every other road user (trucks, buses) by paying for wear and tear disproportionately — EXCEPT for bicyclists! Cyclists are the only road user who pays more, proportional to their wear and tear on the road, than auto users.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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[working from @gg‘s comment, above] I do work, I do bus a lot, but have to walk most of a mile on a suburban two-lane road, in the dark, with no sidewalk and no lighting, to get to that bus. I do this five times as often as I bike. You, as a driver, have to avoid me. I, as a pedestrian, am pretty good at avoiding getting hit. I am less sure about my neighbors who walk that road. But that’s par for the course for any 35 mph road in Hampton and McCandless.

But I do have a legal right to be there, and you have the responsibility to see me in time to slow down and/or move over. If you cannot or will not do that, you have no business driving.

Replace “pedestrian” with “cyclist”. Same argument, same result. YOU need to change your mind about cyclists being on the road.


Drewbacca
Participant
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Just a side note, but the PA gas tax “The OCFT was

originally enacted in 1981 as a response to energy concerns.”

So, it wasn’t enacted to fund our highways and bridges! It was enacted to reduce gasoline consumption.

I’m still trying to figure out if that revenue is even a drop in the bucket of the city streets that cyclists use, vs the highways that we aren’t even allowed to ride on. Of course, it’s a moot point seeing as the real share of revenue from gasoline taxes that we take advantage of are for mass transit and recreation projects. So again, if a person has an issue with the way funds are raised and used… let your representatives know instead of picking fights on an internet forum where your politics are not likely to be embraced.

This is a pretty good read, btw, for any policy wonks out there:

ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/TFAC/Transportation%20Funding%20Study%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf


Anonymous #

if the gas tax is going for mass transit, why is all the hate on cyclists and not bus riders?


Kordite
Participant
#

“The OCFT was originally enacted in 1981 as a response to energy concerns.”

I knew that in Europe, road use taxes were inflated specifically to discourage driving. In the US it was created for the same reason, apparently, but has been marketed as a way to build/repair roads. Additionally, since it has stagnated for so long, everyone has forgotten the real reason. Even me.

So, yes. Contact your legislator and convince them to create legislation that locks in the gas tax as a either a percentage of the wholesale price of gasoline or links it to the rate of inflation.


ajbooth
Participant
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” IF A CYCLIST SWERVES TO AVOID A POTHOLE OR CARCASS INTO MY PATH AND i KILL OR INJURE SOMEONE, I AM THE ONE THAT HAS TO LIVE WITH IT.”

Substitute “another driver” or “a pedestrian” or “a baby carriage” for “a cyclist” in this rant. Maybe if you have better control of your vehicle, none of those “swerves” would endanger life.

If your whole point is truly to promote safety and awareness, then slow down and be safe and aware.


cburch
Participant
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” IF A CYCLIST SWERVES TO AVOID A POTHOLE OR CARCASS INTO MY PATH AND i KILL OR INJURE SOMEONE, I AM THE ONE THAT HAS TO LIVE WITH IT.”

also, this is the point of the 4 foot law, as well as more general laws about safe passing and following. if you are in a position to harm me because i went around a road hazard, you were the one breaking the law.

also, try the “i have to live with it” excuse on the person who you crippled, or the family of the person you killed. i bet they’ll feel real sorry for you.


that guy
Participant
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orionz06
Participant
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” IF A CYCLIST SWERVES TO AVOID A POTHOLE OR CARCASS INTO MY PATH AND i KILL OR INJURE SOMEONE, I AM THE ONE THAT HAS TO LIVE WITH IT.”

I have found, during my transition from assholemoron driver to cyclist and driver, that leaving adequate room for scenarios such as this will allow time. It will be a difficult concept for you to grasp but I hope if you give it your all you might be able to understand it.


Anonymous #

I occasionally find myself getting annoyed at pedestrians or cyclists when I’m behind the steering wheel. It’s just something that happens to a person when they drive, I think. But I almost always catch myself doing it and laugh. After all, what’s my big hurry? Why am I more important than they are? Why shouldn’t I have to be patient for a few seconds, so that the person can move safely on with their day? I remember those things, and that I’m not so important, and I laugh at myself for being an impatient asshole. It’s strange, the animosity that so many seem to possess for cyclists. The sight of a grown man on a bicycle seems to positively enrage some rednecks, and if you’re wearing spandex, they get so mad they get double vision. Why is that? I bet it’s some residual angst from a bikeless childhood. Stewing resentment at the kids whose parents bought them a bike. That must be it. Is there any chance this bike-hater would agree to go riding and drink a few beers?


cburch
Participant
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He’ probably be shocked to discover that he seems like a bleeding heart pinko liberal commie wussbag compared to you, the “Cyclist” too.

My point being that treating all cyclists as on homogenized group is stupid.


orionz06
Participant
#

I am not important enough to cause someone to fear for their life. I also realize that the brief period driving at a lower speed does not impact my arrival time.


ElijahBayles
Member
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Eric
Member
#

maybe he was predicting the rise of Eden Hazard, a Belgian footballer who has scored 2 goals and added 2 assists during this world cup and helped Belgium reach the semi-finals?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eden_Hazard

as an aside, the Tags under the post read:
Coach Outlet O, louis vuitton

so my guess is that this was a 2013 version of a spambot that added clickbait to a message board but somehow didn’t also add the payload — some way to attract clicks to a knockoff shopping site.


Swalfoort
Participant
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I was amused to read Kordite’s math all these years after the original post.  (Is Kordite still around, even?  I don’t think I’ve run into him in years….)

My question now has to do with the weight calculations.  Why is the weight of the rider added to the weight of the bicycle in the estimation of wear and tear, but not the weight of the driver (and passengers, and assorted junk in the car) to the estimation of wear and tear caused by the auto?  I realize the proportionality issue, but it means that we are not comparing the two equally, right?


jonawebb
Participant
#

Passenger weight plays a major role in wear and tear of bus. They are about a third of the gross weight in a fully loaded bus. Not so much in a car.


The Iguana
Participant
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Nice video about lane width from cyclingsavvy.org:

Lane Width & Space

…and other goodies on the site…


zzwergel
Member
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I think this is a good place to cross post this from my blog.

Yesterday, I was riding home from Towne Drugs and someone in a black SUV yelled at me saying I should be on the sidewalk. It was on Western Ave. between 3rd S. and 4th St. As annoying to cyclists as they are, there is a reason for having stop signs at every intersection. Their purpose is to discourage through traffic. This self-entitled motorist was clearly through traffic. He drive the entire length of Western Ave. just to turn right onto 5th St. and left onto Center Ave. I yelled, “Why don’t you stay on f***ing Freeport Rd.! another block!” As far as I know, there is only one stop sign in one direction the entire length of Freeport Rd. which is about 20 miles, while Western Ave. has four stop signs in both directions. The whole street is 1/4 mile long. Why do these imbeciles insist on cutting through a neighborhood with narrow, stop sign filled streets so they can endanger myself and my neighbors. If he was in such a hurry, he should have stayed on Freeport Rd., one more block and turning left directly onto Center Ave. Parking is banned on the western side of Center Ave. so there is more room to maneuver around cyclists. We seriously need more enforcement of this stuff as well as education so the people will stop harassing other people who are fulfilling their transportation needs.


Eric
Member
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Overly self important person in a gas guzzling SUV. Best to just ignore.

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