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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 9, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Would you pay to ride a bicycle?

There’s more to it

In regard to the proposal to tax bicycles, James F. Vesely has one thing right in supposing that nary a local elected official has the stomach for it [“Impose license fee on King County cyclists,” editorial column, Dec. 7].

As it stands, cyclists quietly accept that the money spent on bicycle facilities is nowhere near proportional; the facilities are poorly designed, discontinuous, involve ridiculous detours, have discriminatory signaling or restrictive signage, and they generally need substantial improvement to come up to the standard that motorists accept as commonplace.

The effect of a bicycle tax would be to replace cyclists’ current sense of gratitude (for any bicycle facilities that are actually done right) with a sense of entitlement. Cyclists would be much more attentive to the amount of money that is designated for bicycle facilities and how it is spent.

It turns out that it’s not a matter of guts after all: Local politicians are smart enough to see that a bike tax is a non-starter.

— Thomas Hildebrandt, Mercer Island

Go all the way

You want a tax proposal that takes guts (but would actually solve our budget problems)? Try this: state income tax. I’m looking forward to seeing that column.

— Jerrod Wendland, Seattle

Pay for what you use

I believe it is time to make licenses on all bicycles mandatory for all bikes on bike trails and roadways — the sooner the better.

We are seeing a large growth of the numbers of bikes in the state and it is about time that the riders pay a fee to use the roads and trails. There is also a need to build and maintain additional safe roads and trails in the near future.

Thank you for bringing the subject to the attention of the public.

— Donald and Johanna Whipple

Comments | More in Transportation

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