Re: Should Mass. Avenue in Arlington be reduced to make way for sidewalks, bike lanes and pedestrian crossings?
posted at 4/2/2013 11:20 AM EDT
It's absolutely not true that motorists pay for the roads through fees. In Massachusetts, fees only pay for 41.5% of road costs.
That leaves 58.5% of the cost subsidized by property and sales tax payers, many of whom don't use cars. Cars put much more wear and tear on the roads, so they should pay more per mile than cyclists.
In any case, like most cyclists in Arlington, I own a car too. When I choose to ride my bike instead of driving, I contribute LESS to road congestion than if I drive. Between my registration fees, inspection fees, excise tax, fines, property taxes, and sales tax, I more than pay for my use of the road as a cyclists.
In response to PC86's comment:
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Motorists pay for the use of the road through registration fees, inspection fees, excise tax, and fines for not following the rules of the road. Bicycles pay no fees, have no identification, and ride in a manner that would land a motorist in jail for driving to endanger. Yet we are going to spend nearly 7 million dollars accommodating and encouraging these cyclists to ride in the middle of a major state route. Especially when parallel to Mass Ave is one of the most reputable bike paths that our tax dollars are already going towards to maintain including being plowed. Where does it end? Either come up with a system to register and identify cyclists over 18 and charge them a reasonable fee, or keep them off the roads we as motorists pay for. Narrowing the East end of Mass Ave slightly to add better crosswalks and sidewalks while maintaining the 4 travel lanes would be one thing, but to remove a westbound lane in favor of bicycle lanes is insanity.