Letter: Cyclists unfairly maligned

Published:

 

Too bad there’s so much misunderstanding and misinformation about bicycling (Jim Souder’s June 16 letter, “Why are bicyclists not taxed?”) because its benefits, to both us and our community, are significant.

Sure, some cyclists ride unsafely, but cycling advocates are working to educate cyclists about proper riding behavior. And who hasn’t seen drivers speeding or texting or running red lights? And if we had more bike lanes, more cyclists would feel safer on the roads and stay off the sidewalks.

Another misconception is that cyclists don’t pay for roads because their bikes aren’t licensed. Most cyclists have cars and pay the same fees as everyone else. But even if cyclists didn’t have cars, the fees and taxes motorists pay amount to less than 15 percent of the cost of local road construction and maintenance; more than three-quarters comes from property taxes. We all pay. We could all pay less though, if more of us cycled; constructing and maintaining roads is expensive. Cycling saves money for all.

By the way, it’s legal to bike in a traffic lane even if there is a bike lane. The cyclist might be making a left-hand turn or trying to avoid being hit by a right-turning vehicle. Our roads belong to all of us.

Madeleine von Laue

Vancouver