they already do.
Registration fees to make such a program self-supporting, along with general inconvenience and lack of benefit to the bike owner, are too high for many (most?) bicycle owners to participate voluntarily, and enforcement isn't practical. That's been the case with nearly all places that have tried such programs. San Jose is a recent example that stopped bike registration.
Home owner's insurance, and I think some renter's policies, cover liability for bicycle collisions. Damage due to bike crashes tends to be low, often below any insurance threshold. I don't see big societal problems of damage caused by bikes, as there are with uninsured motorists.
Most bicyclists (all people, really - bikers, drivers or other) already pay taxes for roads. On a wear-and-tear or per mile basis, bikes pay relatively even more.
US Pirg: "Do Roads Pay For Themselves?"
Just filing another source in this thread, about how our roads are actually funded, for reference:
Do Roads Pay For Themselves? Setting the Record Straight on Transportation FundingFull report is a PDF with extensive footnotes.
PS - as long as I'm making a list...
Why an additional road tax for bicyclists would be unfairhttp://www.vtpi.org/whoserd.pdf
Whose RoadsIn particular note Table 4 of Whose Roads (reformatted due to HTML constraints):
Example: Two neighbors each pay $300 annually in local taxes that fund roads and traffic services. Mike Motorist drives 10,000 miles annually on local roads, while Frances Footpower bicycles 3,000 miles. The table below compares the costs they impose with what they pay in taxes. Table 4 Local Roadway Payments Versus Costs Mike Frances A. Annual local mileage 10,000 3,000 B. Household’s general taxes used for road related services. $300 $300 C. Motorist user fees spent on local road (0.2¢ per mile). $24 $0 D. Total road system contribution (B + C) $324 $300 E. Tax payment per mile of travel (B/A). 3.2¢ 10¢ F. Roadway costs (cars = 5.6¢/ml, bicycles = 0.2¢/ml) $560 $48 Net (D – F) Underpays $236 Overpays $252 Non-drivers pay almost the same as motorists for local roads but impose lower costs. As a result, they tend to overpay their share of roadway costs.
From BikePortland's front page, Editorial: GOP budget... :
"On average, states raise 38% of their road funds from fuel taxes and 22% from vehicleAlso breaks out by state the percentage of road funding based on fuel tax, and refers to several source docs such as:
REVENUES USED BY STATES FOR HIGHWAYS - 2004I am sceptical of those numbers. Oregon vehicle registration is among the lowest nationally and its fuel taxes are just a bit above average, so how do those figures end up so much higher than the national average?
The UIOWA ICAN study cites http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs04/htm/sf1.htm as the source of that data. That FHWA DOT data says:
HIGHWAY-USER REVENUES >>> 57.0%
- MOTOR- FUEL TAXES 385,463 >>> 32.2%
- MOTOR- VEHICLE AND MOTOR- CARRIER TAXES 297,253 >>> 24.8%
TOTAL RECEIPTS 1,198,718 >>> 100%
So, 57% user fees and taxes means that 43% came from other, non-user fees and taxes in Oregon in 2004. That's a big gap from the UIOWA numbers.
http://publicola.com/2010/08/31/we-a...for-the-roads/ (redirects here)
"We All Pay For The Roads"____________________________________________
Not specifically about taxes and fees, but worthy anyway...
"How Do People Choose a Travel Mode? Factors Associated with Routine Walking & Bicycling"____________________________________________
PBOT 2011/12 budget
Page 83 - Table 4: General Transportation Revenue Budget [mostly gas tax (61.6%) and parking (26.4%)]
Capital Improvement Program(CIP) is a smaller document starting on page 91 of the larger PDF. Page 107 of the large PDF (p. 16 of the CIP doc) has pie chart for CIP funding. General Transportation Revenue (GTR; gas tax, vehicle registration, parking and fines) makes up 38% of the pie, second largest after Grants & Contracts.
18 May 2011
Survey: 90 percent of avid Oregon bicyclists also own, drive cars
Friday, October 23, 2009
Joseph Rose, The Oregonian [Joe Rose]
Do motorists pay for the roads they use? No, says public interest group
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Joseph Rose, The Oregonian
Federal Transportation Programs Shortchange Motorists: Update of a USDOT Study
June 8, 2009
Wendell Cox and Ronald Utt, Ph.D.
Rebuttal by rawillis3 in Oregonian January 06, 2011 comments, above:
"that study talks only about federal subsidies, measured in terms of the expenditure allocations of fuel taxes. it does not directly address where every dollar that is spent on each mode of transportation ultimately comes from. even where it says 40 percent of the federal highway trust fund is spent on things other than road, it lists a bunch of stuff that relates fairly directly to road infrastructure maintenance, development, and planning."
27 May 2011
http://egov.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/fees/vehicle.shtml (Oregon vehicle registration fees; $86/2-year for cars, $48 motorcycles, $43 electric motorcycles)
2009 USDOT FHWA numbers:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinform...atistics/2009/ Highway Statistics 2009
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinform...s/2009/sdf.cfm Disposition of State Highway-User Revenues - 2009
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinform...s/2009/mf3.cfm Disposition of State Motor-Fuel Tax Receipts
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinform...cs/2009/df.cfm Disposition of Receipts From State Imposts on Highway Users
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinform...2009/lgf21.cfm Local Government Funding For Highways - Summary - 2008
...seems to show that local fund for road expenditures comes mostly from the general fund which everyone pays.
8 July 2011
"Using Federal Highway Administration data, Subsidyscope calculated that in 2007, user fees accounted for 51 percent of all road funding—a 10 percent decline over the previous decade and the lowest level since the creation of the Federal Highway Trust Fund in 1957."
18 August 2011
http://bikeportland.org/2008/12/10/w...licenses-11954 - bike licensing
Last edited by Alan; 03-02-2013 at 09:24 PM. Reason: making a list...
How about a weight-mile tax for ALL vehicles?
Those that cause the most damage to roads (after studded tires are made illegal at the ballot box this year) would be the heaviest trucks.
The vehicles that cause us to have to resurface roads and fix potholes constantly would be dinged for their negative impacts.
If all the road users were bicyclers, think how long the roads would last – not only the surfaces, but the lane geometry – less widening of roads to accommodate increased traffic
Last edited by OnTheRoad; 03-23-2011 at 02:35 PM. Reason: chg. chains to studded tires
14 September 2011
http://seattlelikesbikes.org/wordpress/?p=228 Cyclists must pay their “fair share?” cites the following:
How Bikes Saved America’s Roads: A Historical Perspective
excerpt from: The King’s Best Highway: The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route That Made America by Eric Jaffe
Feb 09 2012
Here's one for the motorists. He claims 22.0 cents per passenger mile in cars compared to 78 cents for buses. It's from 2007.
"Inflation, not bike sharing, is why the gas tax isn't enough" - September 7, 2011
"Analysis Finds Shifting Trends in Highway Funding: User Fees Make Up Decreasing Share" - November, 2009
Mar 01 2012
"...as a rule-of-thumb, the damage caused by a particular load is roughly related to the load by a power of four..."
- Pavement design guide
- How Suburban Sprawl Works Like a Ponzi Scheme, Kaid Benfield, Oct 04, 201
"Announcing Strong Towns, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on the root of these systemic problems: our land use patterns—the way we have designed our towns and neighborhoods."
31 May 2012
http://www.toronto.ca/budget2005/pdf...censingcyc.PDF2005 BUDGET BRIEFING NOTE - Licensing Cyclists and/or Bicycles
Based on conservative assumptions, for every pound spent on cycling the Government benefits by three pounds. If the benefits are sustained over 30 years the benefit to cost ratio may be as high as five or six-to-one.____________________________________________
25 June 2012
http://thecaseforcycling.com/ "This site is a joint project of Portland Transport, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, BikePortland, Portland Afoot and AROW and has been created to serve as a compendium of the best research and arguments supporting cycling as a positive force in urban livability, health and prosperity."
30 June 2012
http://bikestylespokane.com/2012/06/...ets-we-all-do/ "Who Really Pays for Streets? We All Do." Published June 18, 2012 by Barb Chamberlain. Excellent article on the topic with further references, e.g.:
http://financecommission.dot.gov/Doc...t_Mar09FNL.pdf -- “fuel taxes and other direct and indirect user fees currently account for less than 60 percent of total system revenue (federal, state, and local), so that users do not bear anywhere near the full costs of their travel”
http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_...s-transit.html - Josh Barro - "Transit advocates aren’t incorrect when they grumble about road subsidies. But if they really want American mass transit to work better, they’re missing the key target. A much smarter approach would be three-pronged: reduce subsidies, allow looser urban zoning, and get transit costs down."
Drifting off topic but Good Stuff about how bike facilities work fine with commerce/business zones:
http://spacingvancouver.ca/2011/07/2...ed-bike-lanes/ - "Vancouver’s Hornby and Dunsmuir Separated Bike Lanes: Ridership Climbing, Business and Auto Impacts Negligible"
http://www.streetsblog.org/2011/08/1...ed-bike-lanes/ - "Study: Vancouver Merchants Badly Misjudge Effect of Protected Bike Lanes"
San Diego plans to remove bike licensing ordinance; links to Huntington, Los Angeles, San Jose, Long Beach and Santa Monica removing their bicycle license laws:
"While anyone can easily find in granular detail anything they would ever want to know about where bike/ped money goes, and they can get a pretty good idea of what’s going on with transit capital investments, highway spending is a black box — and that’s 80 percent of U.S. transportation dollars."
"Congress and Obama’s administration in June reached a two- year deal on roads and transit. Instead of raising the U.S. gasoline tax, the largest source of revenue for road, bridge and transit spending, the legislation used $18.8 billion in general taxpayer money, in addition to fuel taxes, to keep spending at current levels -- about $52 billion a year -- through fiscal 2014."
"The president hasn’t specified ways to pay for the plan. LaHood and the administration have opposed raising the 18.4 cents-a-gallon U.S. gasoline tax, which has been the main source for highway, bridge and transit expansions since the 1980s. The levy hasn’t been raised since 1993 and isn’t indexed for inflation."
"Since 1947, American highways have run up a deficit bigger than $600 billion, in 2005 dollars. "
thread jump (opens in new browser tab)
grep bait: road taxes, bike taxes
Last edited by Alan; 03-03-2013 at 08:53 AM.
Alan, I really liked your rebuttal to the Columbian letter to the editor. I don't see how you can get it down to 200 words, it's all very good info!
I would suggest going for the meat-and-potatoes:
"Bicycle sales are taxed, just like car sales. Bikes don't pay license fees here, and most everywhere that has tried licensing bikes has found that any appropriate fees do not generate enough revenue to pay for the bureaucracy needed to administer and enforce the program. (For example, San Jose recently stopped licensing bikes, and there are many other examples of places where it hasn't worked.)
Moreover, automobile user fees (fuel tax, registration, tolls, etc.) cover only part of public road costs. For federally funded roads, about two-thirds of the cost is covered by user fees, the rest comes from general funds paid for by all tax payers. Car user fees cover an even smaller fraction of local roads, for example in Seattle, gas taxes pay for roughly four percent of road costs. Registration fees go to WSDOT for state roads, not cities, and again don't cover anywhere near the total road budget. So, we all pay for roads and those who don't drive or drive less (such as some who ride bikes more) end up effectively subsidizing those who drive more. "
Thanks, Haven, that's a really good condensation of what I wanted to say, and I might just crib it in the future. I didn't get my reply edited down in time but fortunately two other Columbian readers did respond eloquently a few days after that misinformed post:
Those both made the deadtree edition.
on and on and on and on...
23 January 2013
"A new report from the Tax Foundation shows 50.7 percent of America’s road spending comes from gas taxes, tolls, and other fees levied on drivers. The other 49.3 percent? Well, that comes from general tax dollars, just like education and health care."
"Nationwide in 2010, state and local governments raised $37 billion in motor fuel taxes and $12 billion in tolls and non-fuel taxes, but spent $155 billion on highways. In other words, highway user taxes and fees made up just 32 percent of state and local expenses on roads. The rest was financed out of general revenues, including federal aid."
" See U.S. Census Bureau, State and Local Government Finances by Level of Government and by State, 2009-10, http://www.census.gov/govs/estimate/."
2 March 2013
About 38% of the $10 billion Washington State DOT budget comes from gas tax (25%), fees and registration (10%) and state ferry tolls (3%).
(13 May: WSDOT chart and URL have moved, the links were: URL="http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Finance/budget/BudgetPieCharts.htm", IMG "http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/9F0387AA-6990-4FC3-AD40-EB7ECB8E6337/0/TranspBudgetRevPiesJune2012Frcst.gif")
Besides supporting a $25 tax on new bike purchases to fund highways, Washington Rep. Ed Orcutt (R, Kalama) also says, "bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride." It's true, we due emit CO2 but it's much less than traveling the same distance in a car, about 21 g/Km biking, 271 g/Km by car.
3 March 2013
"If it’s $1/year for a bike, it would be $9600/year for a car. The semi truck would pay $92,160,000. And that’s not even factoring in mileage..."
9 March 2013
http://www.portlandonline.com/index....383750&c=57785 - PBOT F.Y. 2012-13 Requested Budget. 216 page formal document (image, not text, format). Page 5 & 6 of the paper document, page 8 & 9 of the electronic (w/ pie chart) says: PBOT's FY 11-12 resources are summarized in Figure 1...Gas taxes and parking revenues provide the largest source, about 38% of the total...The remaining funding is provided by a variety of customers that purchase Bureau of Transportation services, such as other City bureaus, or is obtained by the Bureau of Transportation, often in the form of federal, state and local grants...
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transp...article/421323 - PBOT Business Plan. Five slide presentation deck, notably with "Transportation resources and requirements" has graphs for those two "pies" breaking out revenue sources and commitments (35% of funding from gas taxes, fees and parking).
The Elephant in the Bedroom: Automobile Dependence & Denial : Impacts on the Economy and Environment by Stanley I. Hart and Alvin L. Spivak - Recommended by 'ws' in a thread on bike evangelism. I (Alan) have not read it, but it does remind me to throw in a quick reference to urbanist works by Simon Gideon, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier (those for a historic 20thC note), Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, Rob and Leon Krier, Colin Rowe, Robert Venturi, Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Richard Sennett's The Fall of Public Man, and those are just off the top of my head; I'll add more as I think of them.
18 March 2013
Evaluation and Improvement Strategies
25 February 2013
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
21 March 2013
What share of road spending in Oregon is covered by general taxes (as opposed to user fees)? (Answer: 64%)
13 May 2013
Who Should Pay for Transportation Infrastructure? What is Fair? by Todd Litman
"For both fairness and economic efficiency sake, roadway user fees, including fuel taxes, road tolls and parking fees should be raised to pay a greater share of road and parking facility costs. In this context, proposals to tax bicyclists are unfair and a distraction from a serious discussion of transportation finance."
22 July 2013
Chuck Mahron's Strong Town's blog: http://networkedblogs.com/Ni5hv
"Why Suburban Growth Is a Ponzi Scheme" from Streetfilms: http://vimeo.com/69602304
28 July 2013
Slightly off-topic of bikes paying for roads, this blogger sets out the proposition that biking is safe by using financial analysis including the bike rider's lifespan. He backs it all up with solid, sane references. While I found it a bit whacky in my initial reading, it does make sense and keeps coming back to me in other reflections. A couple quotes for flavor:
Riding a bike is not more dangerous than driving a car. In fact, it is much, much safer:...and...
Given these final adjustments to the data, I close the article with my own best estimates:____________________________________________
12 Nov 2013: Do bikes get a free ride? Advocates' infographic shows why not
"...we seem to be approaching a point at which local transportation funding will be forced to change, due to falling gasoline consumption and rising construction costs.
"As for the facts of the infographic, there are some wrinkles: In the City of Portland, unlike in many other cities, the local transportation budget comes almost entirely from auto-related fees. That's why our unusual success in reducing auto dependence over the last 17 years has been so rough on the city's street budget."
10 Dec 2013:
Mythbusting: Exposing Half-Truths That Support Automobile Dependency, by Todd Litman
Portland's 2030 bike plan would cost "$6 to $25 annually per capita, a small fraction of the approximately $665 per capita spent annually on roadways."
grep bait: road taxes, bike taxes
Last edited by Alan; 02-05-2014 at 11:27 AM. Reason: piling it on
Thanks for keeping this active...
I'm sorry I've been a bit too busy to post... lately. I've been quietly feeding Jonathan interesting story tidbits I find online. Due to my studies, and the distance involved in getting to and from school, my riding has been very limited of late. Hopefully I'll be able to change that after I graduate.
Riding my bike is MY pursuit of Happiness!!!