Q A bicycle fee, really?
A Yep, that's want many readers want. So off we go for another day on a subject that generates more reaction than almost any other Roadshow topic.
Q I see that your article considering fees for cyclists brings out the usual bicycle bigots. Let me offer my perspective based on 81 years of cycling, including riding a distance equivalent to about five times around the Earth at the equator, without having been touched by a motor vehicle. I've had a couple of nasty solo crashes and am now partly made out of titanium, but I'm still riding.
Los Altos Hills
A And he has a novel idea.
Q I agree that consideration should be given to bike fees but it should be for payments to cyclists by the state, preferably in proportion to the number of miles they ride each year. That is because they cause negligible road damage, unlike cars and especially trucks, and reduce traffic congestion a lot. They pose a negligible safety threat to motorists but must accept the threat to themselves when sharing the road.
A And more novel thoughts.
Q Regarding the suggestions about imposing bike fees: What's next? Pedestrians have to buy a license to walk on the sidewalks? Sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian signal lights are just as much a part of the infrastructure as bike and auto lanes.
A Don't stop there.
Q What about taxing people who ride scooters? Wheelchairs? Dogs (they pee on things and make a mess). Prius drivers (they go so slow and are road boulders) and don't pay enough gas taxes. Baby strollers. Old ladies who need help across a street. If it moves, tax it. Where does the silliness stop?
A Indeed, charging Prius drivers would be silly.
Q Why stop with charging bicyclists a fee? What about shoppers with grocery carts and people who have large feet and wear army boots? What about the air we breathe? Joggers suck in way too much. Now we can make some big bucks.
A And ...
Q Bicyclists now ride with impunity. Most refuse to obey laws that apply to them. Ever tell a bicyclist he didn't stop at a crosswalk and get a middle finger for your efforts?
A Well ...
Q A few days ago, I saw a bike rider heading toward Oregon Expressway actually stop at a four-way stop. I caught up with him at a red light and shouted "Hey bud" and received a look that was a cross between questioning and defensive. I then shouted: "I want to congratulate you. You're the first biker I've seen all year who actually stopped at that stop sign."
A big grin appeared on his face. He said (honestly): "I don't usually stop there, but this time it seemed like the right thing to do." He then said: "Thank you, sir" as he rode off.
A Ah, for one moment, peace on our roads.
Contact Gary Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.