Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Everybody Pays

It was all over the Internet/Twittersphere about Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt arguing in favour of a tax on cyclists because they create more CO2 than driving a car.

Apparently he's already apologized for his "over the top argument", thus simultaneously admitting he was wrong and stupid. 

Why Orcutt made the completely insane response to such a basic criticism in the first place is curious. The term knee-jerk reaction comes to mind (at least I know I'd like to knee this jerk) but he clearly thought about the (nonsense) argument thus indicating how little thought he can execute. I never get why drivers get their hate on cyclists anyway? Cyclists don't add to congestion or traffic woes, don't use fuel thus don't drive up demand or price on it and they don't damage roadways the way other traffic does. If anything, city buses are always pulling into traffic, damage the roadways and are noisy and slow. As a cyclist, I fear buses as vehicles with huge blind spots. Not that some cyclists don't ride badly, but really no more than drivers or pedestrians.

Also, where does this notion come from that "drivers pay for the roads" so no one else should use them? Elderly ladies who only drive on Sundays pay for roads; that kid with the part-time McDonald's job pays for roads; In fact, anyone who ever paid any tax, regardless of use "pays for roads"! Drivers pay tax on gas they use, maybe they pay a quarter on a toll, but most infrastructure is paid from the general pot of tax dollars. In fact, every single time someone suggests drivers actually "pay for the roads" with additional tolls or congestion taxes, drivers flip out.

Everyone pays for roads, but only a few think they own them.