Who Pays for Roads Controversy
"Many people, including supporters, questioned whether the group should have even taken on the loaded who-pays-for-the-roads issue."
Good point. I'm not all that convinced that it's constructive to amortize the costs and delineate who pays for what. A transportation network should not be a piecemeal thing with certain parts relying on specific sources of funding to build/maintain. All components of a transportation network should complement each other. Expenditures in public transit, rail, and bicycle facilities should lighten the burden on other roads and highways, thereby reducing the amount of money spent on those facilities. The issue should be framed that way. "Money spent to improve bicycle facilities on the roads will encourage more people to ride a bike more frequently instead of driving a car and lengthening commute times and air pollution, and improving the health of the bicyclists."
While the costs are spread out, so are the benefits to the individual, city, state, and country. Reduced pollution, reduced congestion, improved health, better mood, money spent locally, etc, etc. Producing a poorly researched infographic doesn't help anyone. If that cycling advocacy group really wanted to make a point, it should have expanded the scope of that infographic and done its due diligence to make sure all the information was accurate in illustrating what a great value bicycle facilities are.
Yes. Who pays for what gets us nowhere useful.
There is so much more to it as Nate says. If one wanted to dive in to that complexity, here is some help:
Bibliography / Book List: Bicycling, Sustainable Transport, Land Use, Livability, Traffic Calming, Road Pricing, Facilities Design, Safety
I'll admit that I'm feeling too lazy to read the article, but it's not like it was cyclists who started this particular argument.
"Cyclists don't pay for roads" is the go-to comment for whiny drivers.
"You are wrong" is a perfectly sensible response back.
I'll agree with that. The basic idea of the article is that the Portland group put out some numbers that the state's DOT officials take issue with. According to them, the proportions used were very inaccurate, which dilutes the message.
Originally Posted by newfangled
What about those freeloading pedestrians? Wo pays for those sidewalks!! Or those playgrounds - I don't see kids coughing up their birthday money to pay for all that!
It's all so ridiculous. A modern city needs a modern transportation system that accommodates different sorts of mobility. It makes no difference who pays for what - all get access more or less.
But the officials are being picky jerks:
Originally Posted by NateHawk
This has nothing to do with "inaccuracies" - he's just completely missing the point.
Even if it's true
, it's really immaterial how many bike riders own cars, said ODOT spokesman Patrick Cooney.
"The fees and taxes they pay to own and operate motor vehicles are to maintain the highway system for motor vehicles and nothing else,"
And I won't pretend to be an expert on Oregon's transportation budget, but the "inaccuracies" there seem like BS too:
63% from user fees, and 37% from general funds - the ODOTs response is that the 37% is wrong.
Okay...except that the significant fact is that only 63% come from user fees. So is that correct? Cooney's response would seem to imply that 99.7% (17M/4.9B) comes from users fees, and that's clearly not correct. So what's the real number? I'd bet it's a lot closer to 63% than 99.7%
Why is a team of bureaucrats trying to lazily attack an infographic, anyway?
Well who brought the topic up:
Drivers already paying a toll for Ontario roads, study finds | Toronto Star
I especially like how:
1) their own numbers they paid someone to come up with directly contradicted their premise at a provincial level (7.7 billion vs 13 billion), so they need to do a convoluted regional breakdown.
2) they include FINES FOR INFRACTIONS as a revenue stream that they are demanding be paid back to their cause.... "I want my dangerous driving fines used to repave the road I drive dangerously on!"
The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
^^ It is stupid to assign all the monies raised from local drivers to local roads only when they also pay for roads throughout the province like everyone does. Otherwise there would be no roads to bring commerce into these big cities from the hinterlands. Toronto and Hamilton would be in a world of hurt without the 401, 402, 403, 407, and 410 arteries or the network of roads that feeds them. So the entire premise is invalid. What a waste of ink.
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