Learn to share the road or get off it

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The following is one of many comments from the CBCnews.ca website accomanying to the story about the cycling fatalities in Manitoba that took the life of local resident Robert Carrier and Daniel Hurtubise from Quebec.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2008/07/01/cyclist-accident.html

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2008/06/30/cyclists-struck.html

‘Beaconsfield Ray’ is sadly deluded like many other motorists into thinking that through the taxes he pays on gas that he fully pays for the public cost of driving. The reality is that every vehicle on the road is subsidized to the the tune of something like $6000/year. That’s how much it costs various governments to keep cars on the road AFTER taking into account all the tax revenue from gas.
I don’t think most motorists know just how much it costs society to build and maintain all those roads, especially if you include the costs of policing those roads, the court system costs when there are charges brought against drivers, or to enforce road laws, the cost of legislation, the cost of 911 services, the cost of health care related to motor vehicle accidents (it’s the leading cause of death among young people), the direct costs to government to take care of people that are permanently crippled in accidents and the lost productivity of those people that are permanently injured.

So please, please stop coming up with asinine comments like “cyclists should pay for their own road.” First of all most cyclists also drive, so they also pay gas taxes. And the cyclists that don’t drive pay more than their fair share for the roads that everyone uses.

Learn to share the road or get off it.

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One Response to “Learn to share the road or get off it”

  1. Chris Sonmor Says:

    In support of your argument against “cyclists should pay for their own road” I would like to relate the following:

    I live in Calgary, a city that boasts about its world-class pathway system, a system that was hugely influenced by bicycle advocacy groups in the city lobbying for safe, direct commuting routes. In many cases, trails that had been cleared/established by cyclists were widened and paved. I’m 52, and I’ve always commuted by bicycle and public transit, so in my mind, my taxes did pay for those trails.

    A funny thing has happened to my “road”, though. Walkers, joggers, roller-bladers, and others have discovered that they like these trails too; and in all honesty I don’t begrudge them that. However, in my 30km commute I now pass through 5 separate off-leash dog parks – 2 of which have started petitions to ban bicycles, and a path that I helped clear (to avoid a steep climb/descent) no longer allows bikes. I’ve been attacked 3 times, and bitten once by dogs in these parks. Speed limits have been imposed that would turn my 1 hour commute into 1.5 hours if I obeyed them. I am not allowed to listen to music while I’m on my bike, but all of the other pathway users can, I am required by law to stay to the right of the line painted down the middle of the path, but roller-bladers don’t and pedestrians can walk 5 abreast if they want, all of which making passing dangerous.

    Every year these paths get busier and more restrictions are put on the cyclists that use them. The result: my road is no longer either safe or practical for me to use.

    A cyclist hit a pedestrian (both were injured) on the bike path, I mean multi-use pathway system, and the City responded by posting a 10kmh speed limit on that stretch of the path (not by banning the pedestrians). In response to the cyclists being struck and killed on the highway, shouldn’t Transport Canada respond by reducing the speed limit to 30 kmh, thereby making the highways safer for all users?

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