A couple of weeks ago we were supposed to meet out contractor, Mike the Plumber, as he likes to call himself, at a restaurant and pub for a drink to discuss the finishing our basement.
At one point, the conversation shifted to cyclists and Mike became quite adamant about how cyclists were unsafe and didn’t pay for the roads and thus they should have no say in how roads were used. Only when cyclists were licensed and paid a fee for that license should they have a say.
Though his presentation was a bit over the top, thanks to a few beers, Mike does have a point about safety and the fact that many cyclists flagrantly and repeatedly break traffic laws. In my eyes, you’re either to be treated like a car or a pedestrian. And if you want to be treated as a car, you need to follow the rules of the road, including but not limited to, stopping at stop signs and red lights. I do!
Regarding Mike’s point about cyclists having no say because they are not paying for the roads, that’s just absurd and here’s why…
- Who said that the sole purpose of all roads in a city was to host motor traffic? I don’t buy that: there are other users in our society who need to be accommodated.
- The vast majority of adult cyclists also have motor vehicle licenses and thus we ARE already paying license fees… and federal income taxes, and sales taxes, and property taxes.
- Cyclist should be thanked and compensated for (a.) reducing traffic and thus commute times of drivers, (b.) reducing carbon emissions and global warming, (c.) freeing up parking spaces. This is true for bus riders and pedestrians too. Perhaps, we should be getting annual carbon-reduction rewards and single car drivers should be paying carbon surcharges?
In fact, the more people who commute using alternate forms of transportation, the better the experience for automobile drivers. So instead of cursing us, Mike, you should be thanking us.