I got an email today from the GreatCity organization urging a “call to action!” They want a special fund set up for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. Their ideas for locking in the funds are the following;
- Increasing Parking Meter Fees by $.50 ($3.3 million annually)
- Increase the Commercial Parking Tax from 10% to 12.5% ($5 million annually)
- Form a Transportation Benefit District ($10 million annually)
- Increase parking tickets by $3 ($1 million annually)
- Revenue from Red-light cameras ($5 million annually)
- TOTAL Potential Funding: $24.3 million
Here’s my question. Why is GreatCity focusing all its’ efforts on taxing and increasing fees for drivers? Is this really the only revenue option? Wouldn’t it be a fair option to set up a licensing department for bicyclists? If they’re obeying the laws of the road, shouldn’t they have to pass a test to show a level of knowledge just like the drivers of cars?
I firmly believe that the city needs to expand bike lanes and pedestrian projects as a priority. The conditions in which bicyclists have to traverse this city is downright dangerous and should be improved – now. However, I don’t think it’s a healthy solution to just tax and fine the drivers alone. I would propose two solutions;
- Bike registration and riders pass – $50 a year. (this’ll never happen)
- Bike Support Vanity License Plates – $200 fee, but you get a fancy “look at me I support cyclists plate”.
Knowing how much people love to show their support for a cause here in this “great city”, I’m sure people would be buying the Cycling vanity plates hand over fist. I’d get one myself. I believe this would go a long way in solving a problem through voluntary public involvement as opposed to government imposing yet another ridiculous tax.