Who Subsidizes Whom?

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.

Read the Full Article

5 Responses to “Who Subsidizes Whom?”

  • andy parmentier says:

    and i heard that the true cost of the gas in your tank is 1300% of what you pay for it. it’s the governments “loss leader” like the supermarket charging $3 measly dollars for a big sack of
    potatoes in the front of the store, to help get you to the back of the store, where the meat
    dept. is usually, where you have no problem paying thru the nose for a side of beef. so it’s
    trickle down the nose economics. you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, or that sack of
    a non-sequitur loss leader of my own: henry ford made auto body parts out of
    soybeans. a natural health practitioner told me to stay away from soybeans. (too high in
    nitrogen, very gmo, etc) the beef cattle eat the soybeans, somehow i feel like there’s
    a story here

  • Adrienne says:

    Everything is part of everything else. Your soybeans wouldn’t exist without the oil we import regardless of whether you drive or not. We all pay for everyone else.

  • andy parmentier says:

    now i’ve got it-soybeans become COW parts, not CAR parts
    riding my ‘bent thru nebraska i saw lots of corn. riding the train thru the west i’ve seen cattle
    feeding on the grassy hills. if people and animals were geopolitically permitted to be nomadic,
    or semi-nomadic, it would sure save a lot of fuel.
    nowadays, it’s mostly birds that get to be nomadic. so everything IS indeed part of everything
    else. even the air is part of us, but i think that birds know that best. cars suck a lot of air too.
    what if the cars turned into living creatures while everyone was’nt looking? the nomadic types
    would find a lot of trouble making their way, being so large. the motorcycles would get the
    best shot.

  • andy parmentier says:

    i just read the full article above, which i agree with. there’s still this spoiled part of me that
    questions why anyone would want to walk. walking is what makes me appreciate the much
    more efficient bicycle.
    i like the “road runner” bird of the southwest-knows how to fly, but prefers to go by foot!

  • osric says:

    Walking lets me appreciate the city at a much richer level than whizzing by on a bike. If it’s less than 2 miles, I walk. If I lived in suburban wasteland where the only interesting features were road shoulders and pavement striping, I’d bike everywhere :)

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