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Bicyclists Don't Pay Their Way
Possible answers include:
1. Nor do motorists.
See “true costs of driving” facts and figures.
$200 billion was spent in 2006 on transportation at all levels of government; only just over half of that generated by fuel and vehicle taxes and tolls. The remaining amount comes from property taxes, general fund allocations, bond issues, and fare boxes of transit systems.
The Federal share of all transportation spending is approximately 20% (18% for transit, 22% for highways). So the 18.4 cents per gallon in Federal gas tax is a small percentage of overall spending on highways.
2. Actually, bicyclists do contribute.
There are 57 million adult bicyclists; the overwhelming majority are motorists also.
Bicycling generates $133 billion in economic activity annually; twice the impact of fishing. A significant portion of that is driving to and from events, rides, and other cycling activities.
3. Streets and highways are part of the public realm, not the private domain of motorists.
There are approximately 100 million Americans who don’t drive – they are too old, too young, have a disability, choose not to drive, or have been prohibited from driving – and almost 10 million households have no access to a motor vehicle.
4. Bicyclists are very low impact. .
Bicyclists don’t take up a lot of space (either moving or parked), don’t cause a lot of wear and tear on the highway, don’t generate a lot of pollution, rarely hurt others in a collision, and are efficient and economical in almost every regard. The cost of accommodating bicyclists is minimal compared to those same costs for motor vehicles.
5. Using the same logic, cigarette taxes should only be used to improve the comfort and convenience of smokers.