Lars Larson on Bicyclists Should Pay

Isn’t it about time for bicyclists to start paying their own way on the roads and obeying the rules of the road?

You know, I’ve about had it up to “here” with bicyclists. I mean, I ride a bicycle from time to time and I don’t really have a strong objection to bicycles per se. But, what bothers me is when the bicyclists begin to behave like they own the road. When, in fact, it’s us car drivers who actually own the road. We paid for it with our gasoline and diesel taxes. We’ve been doing it for decades. And along come the bicyclists, who say, “We want to share the road and you should share it with us equally.” Well, why should I share equally something that they didn’t pay for?

And beyond that, I can go weeks and weeks and weeks without seeing a car blow a stop sign or a stop light but I seem to see a bicyclist blow a stop light every time I’m out on the road. They need to follow the rules of the road and they need to pay their share of the cost of that road.

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Posted by at 09:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • devietro

    The argument is valid, however I heard Lars pitching the Bike License idea and that is NOT a good idea. Bikes are already subject to the same traffic laws as cars, we just need the police to enforce it with the same vigilance.

  • Steven Plunk

    I respectfully disagree with Lars. As devietro says enforcement is the key but it should be applied in a common sense manner. There is a difference between blowing through a stop sign and just not coming to a complete stop on a rural road.

    The money issue itself has problems. The amount collected would be trivial and the collection methods would be awkward if not impossible. Would children have to pay or only adults?

    Bikes do no damage to the road so the costs responsibility concept would be violated.

    The answer is to bust the flagrant offenders and leave everyone else alone.

    That said I do appreciate Lars bringing up this topic.


      I agree with Steven on this one.

    • Captain_Anon

      I totally agree. enforcement is the key here. Lars is wrong about bicyclists not paying… 99.9% of bicyclists drive and thus pay thier fair share of road taxes and user fees. This is just another example of him taking something to the extreme and leaving out context and pertinent facts.

      just like his tirade on removing parking spaces on belmont for bike cages. he brought the region in on the argument when it is most definitely a local issue. He said it was bad for business. BS. it was GOOD for business. for one thing, the local businesses WANTED the bike cages. the sunnyside neighborhood has a high percentage of bike riders who frequent the stores, shops and bars. it’s been a walking/biking neighborhood for some time. people who go there know parking will be hard to find. so dont’ use that situation as a tirade against spending for bikes. the community wanted it. business wanted it. the community will benefit from it. just don’t do it at washington square.

  • dartagnan

    I agree that bicyclists should pay their fair share of the costs of roads. Their share should be computed by determining the amount of wear and tear that bicycles inflict on pavement, compared with the amount inflicted by cars and trucks. I’m guessing that would mean a registration fee of approximately $0.34 per year.

  • DMF

    When I was a child in Wyoming we had to purchase a license for our bicycles, which of course our parents generally paid for or we didn’t ride them. What’s the big fuss. That was the way it was and it didn’t hurt any one of us. Why do Oregon’s bike riders think they are any better. I drive on rural highways and have had so many close accidents because of bicycle riders. To be fair, most are pretty darn considerate, but there are so many that just do their thing and it’s your neck if they screw up. Let them pay, They probably spend that much on their Marijuana.

  • Jerry

    Bikes don’t use enough gas, so they should pay more than a car in order for things to be fair, just like how the state doubles the registration fees for hybrid vehicles.
    I would say about $120 every two years – and they should have a license plate, too.
    The state obviously needs more money – we are simply not giving them enough.

  • r huse

    Considering how this state bends over backwards for bicyclists I hardly think requiring license plates on a bicycle is much to ask. If you blow through a stop sign, you get a ticket same as a car.

    Frankly, considering that blowing through a stop sign can cause substantial damage to a car or hospitalization a minimum to a motorcyclist I think bicyclists, are damn lucky they aren’t compelled to buy insurance.

  • brentc

    Not sure I agree with Lars on this one totally and think he needs to get his facts straight. I am not sure I agree with many of the folks who are commenting on the rules for the roads either. The web is full of amazing tales of “insane cyclists all over the roads” that I find really interesting.

    The paved road was a luxury that was the brainchild of the bicyclists in the late 1800’s. Look up “The Good Roads Movement” in Google.
    It was only after the roads were developed that drivers of cars who ended up out numbering cyclists we allowed to take over the management of the roads.

    I am a cyclist and a driver and I am a tax payer just like Lars.
    Not all cyclists don’t own cars. I actually own 2 cars.
    I also follow the laws in both my car and bike, which include riding through a light if it does not change for me. Going after the smallest group of people to make up the low funding is ridiculous. These people are generally more fit and in the end cost less to the state in medical expenses than a overweight person who drives 3 blocks to pick up food. They are essentially just offsetting the costs.
    The roads are in disrepair because of the vehicles that drive on them, including the overweight trucks that are too frequent for the police to enforce locally.

    I don’t disagree that cyclists are in the wrong running stop signs and the such and they should be ticketed. However, I don’t think focusing police efforts to bust just cyclists and ignore other infractions is the proper method to resolve this. In Lars comments he sees bikes blowing stop signs more than cars. I assume this is probably when he is driving his car through town. Try sitting instead on any street corner long enough and you will see just as many or more cars who don’t follow the laws to the “T”. That means complete stop for more than a millisecond.
    As a cyclist you see much more going on than you do in the car as we have to be prepared to be defensive and the factor of no environmental blockers (windows and metal) allow cyclist to hear around them is very helpful in identifying infractions going on. In this state we see dozens of more serious laws being broken by drivers of cars.. excessive speeding, running lights, no signals, road rage, etc. Consider how many cars speed through your neighborhoods. Im not talking about marginal speeds above the limit but excessive.
    Besides I would rather have my tax dollars going to police efforts to bust serious offenders than sitting on corners eating donuts flagging bikes over for not putting their foot on the ground.

    The real issue is education.
    Both cyclists and drivers of cars do not know or understand the rules of the road and rights of cyclists.
    We really need to educate the public for the safety of those who share the road and pay for it. I commend the groups that are going to local schools to teach children the rules of the roads as this appears to be the only hope for making change to perception of cyclists.

    In summary, I agree cyclists are not above the law, and drivers are not either.
    You can argue both drivers or cyclists are the problem. In reality it is the people and the decisions they are making as a whole that are a mess.
    Being kind to each other who are sharing the road is the key, allowing a rider to move over for a seconds instead of riding up on them and honking or swerving about is just that ,, a few seconds lost. You will move on and life will go back to normal.

    Enforce the laws, don’t force the laws.
    Keep in mind, if you make it difficult for those to ride their bikes, they will drive their cars instead and your commute will get a little bit longer and the roads might need more repairs.

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