Sept. 19, 2013–Canada
The following is an excerpt from an opinion printed in Simcoe.com in Canada, from a man who wants cyclists to pay for the bike lanes in his community.
Barrie Cycling Club president Robb Meier estimated the city could provide three quarters of the proposed bicycle lanes for $750,000. He did not state how much the rest would cost. I’m guessing a cool $1 million plus ongoing maintenance costs.
How often do we need to repaint these lanes? At what cost? We are in the snow belt and these would not be used much in winter.
Who are these bike lanes for? If for recreation, then by all means provide some lanes around the Lakeshore Drive and perhaps a couple of other spots. I suggest that the number of recreational riders is small compared to the whole Barrie population.
I do not see many cyclists. I see as many folks in my district on motorized scooters and in cars with disability stickers. These people do not now — and will never — be riding bikes in Barrie, but they are taxpayers. Nor will all our more mobile seniors be trying to take their shopping bags home on their handlebars. They, too, are Barrie taxpayers.
Our question to you is, does this make sense? Should cyclists pay for bike lanes even though they already pay taxes that pay for roads to be built, that are almost 100 percent financed by the taxpayer regardless of whether they own a car or not?
Or seen another way, should people who don’t own cars be taxed for the building of roads and other motorist byways?
Let us know what you think.