In a recent Op-Ed piece in the Seattle Times, David Hiller, Advocacy Director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, refutes the widely held misconception that our roads are predominately funded by motorists, and that pedestrians and cyclists are “funding freeloaders”, enjoying the benefits of public roads without paying for them. As he explains in his article, nothing could be further from the truth.
WHILE James Vesely’s attempt to stir the pot may seem reasonable [“Impose a license fee on bicyclists,” editorial column, Dec 7], it ignores much of what we know about who subsidizes whom on our roads, sidewalks and trails. It also casts people who travel by bicycle, or walk for that matter, as the “fringe” who don’t participate equally in our society and communities. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is that less than 3 percent of the region’s total transportation funds are spent on bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs, while 37 percent of the region’s population —the old, the young, the disabled, the poor and those who don’t own cars —cannot or does not drive. What’s more, 60 percent of Washingtonians want to walk and bike more than they currently do.