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Old 08-13-2014, 05:08 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanObservor View Post
This varies by state, but what is obvious is that in most states the gas tax and the general fund (for which many interests compete) are not enough to keep roads and bridges well-maintained. We need a new dedicated funding source and that should be a road user charge.
why? Why not charge by energy use instead?

 
Old 08-13-2014, 05:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
why? Why not charge by energy use instead?
Because there is such disparity between vehicles. A hybrid uses maybe a fifth of the energy as an SUV, but the SUV doesn't take five times the space on the road. Another issue: many roads are only used to capacity a few hours a day. Should off peak drivers pay the same for additional lanes not needed when they are on the road?
 
Old 08-13-2014, 05:27 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Because there is such disparity between vehicles. A hybrid uses maybe a fifth of the energy as an SUV, but the SUV doesn't take five times the space on the road. Another issue: many roads are only used to capacity a few hours a day. Should off peak drivers pay the same for additional lanes not needed when they are on the road?
Yes, I get the energy difference. But why is that a problem?
 
Old 08-13-2014, 06:35 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,996 posts, read 102,568,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
The only person NOT paying to use the roads, is someone homeless, unemployed and not making any purchases (all food by food stamps or food banks). This MIGHT be 1/2 of 1% of the population.
Everyone else is paying some combination of income tax, sales tax, property tax or fuel tax.
If you drive a lot, you pay more fuel tax AND cause more wear and tear on the roads.
If you don't drive, you don't pay any fuel tax but you also cause no wear & tear on the roads.
But you are still paying income tax or property tax or sales tax, all of which are use for streets and roads.

I'm not sure why this is so difficult to understand and I certainly don't understand how anyone could be mad at 1/2 of 1% of the population for not paying their "fair share".

Edit: The obvious exception to this is someone just traveling thru, who does not buy fuel, spend money (sales tax) or pay local property tax.
And your point behind this? Have I disputed anything you said?

I don't know why you have to impugn the intelligence of other posters like you do, and imply things that simply aren't there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I haven't been doing any "divvying" and I should count under some of the "everyone" here.

Well, bicycles should pay too does suggest they currently aren't paying anything. A lot (most?) of road spending goes to making roads that are unpleasant or nearly dangerous to bike on. Adding extra lanes, building for higher speeds are expensive but acutally degrade the road from the bicyclist stand point. On the other hand, fixing the frequent potholes of local roads and side streets would be particularly beneficial for bicycles as you feel them more. And they're all weather-caused.
This is the post I responded to about divvying up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanObservor View Post
Sorry, but no. So many roads across the country are in a state of disrepair and there needs to be a dedicated taxing mechanism that is better than the gas tax. Gas tax revenues are dwindling as vehicles become more fuel-efficient and Vehicle Miles Traveled decreases. It will not cut it in 20, maybe even 10, years. In some places it's not cutting it now.

And roads are a utility in the sense that they provide a critical public service. They aren't cheap to build and maintain. It's ridiculous to compare a bicycle with a vehicles weighing thousands of pounds in terms of damage to the road. Bicyclists do a tiny fraction of the damage to a road (if any at all) compared to a car or truck. It makes perfect sense for those who use roads more to pay more. The gas tax is not equitable in that poor people are likely to have less fuel efficient vehicles and pay more than their share. And it's not enough providing enough revenue.

The fact is roads need to be built and maintained - who should pay for them if not the drivers using them? It is the same as electricity or water in the sense that it is a critical public good, and like those utilities it should be paid for by usage.
You know, my municipal water company charges the same amount of money for the first 5000 gallons used monthly. It charges the same for sewage no matter what the usage, how many toilets one has, etc.
City of Louisville, Colorado - Utility Rates
(Just in case someone accuses me of making things up again.)
 
Old 08-13-2014, 06:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
^^I guess I meant that if everyone is divvying up the responsibility of paying, then bicyclists should pay too. This idea that bicyclists don't cause road damage doesn't have anything to do with the roads being built in the first place.
Seems you are disputing my last post. Other than a homeless, unemployed bicyclist on food stamps, cyclists and ARE paying. What part of that do you not understand?
 
Old 08-13-2014, 07:14 PM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,349,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
Seems you are disputing my last post. Other than a homeless, unemployed bicyclist on food stamps, cyclists and ARE paying. What part of that do you not understand?
Indirectly maybe. Seems that the OP was just promoting that car owners should pay more. The corresponding point then was that so should all other users. The negative reaction exposes an anti-car agenda.

At some point the accounting just becomes silly. Most fuel based vehicles already pay a "user fee" correlated with amount of fuel.
 
Old 08-14-2014, 07:41 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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This conversation is devolving into pointless bickering. Anyone what to add something actually intelligent that can be worth reading. Try, please?

Last edited by nei; 08-14-2014 at 12:10 PM.. Reason: removed responses to deleted posts
 
Old 08-14-2014, 11:08 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
This thread started out with a mythical conversation about gas taxes. The OP's premise is hard to figure out, but it seems like s/he is saying the auto-driving public is a) stupid, and b) thinks they're paying more than their "fair share". IRL, I've never heard a driver say that. The OP then went on to "prove", erroneously it turned out, that drivers aren't paying their "fair share". So if you want to talk about people moralizing about "fairness", it's the OP you should go after, not me.

I think roads are a public infrastructure amenity. We all use them. It's hard to put this into words, but you cyclists wouldn't have a bike path if there weren't roads in the first place. You sure as hell wouldn't have a bike path on a bridge w/o a significant expenditure of money to build the bridge. With no bridge, you couldn't get to the other side. It doesn't matter if the bike path doesn't require maintenance (dubious), it still has to be built, as a part of the roadway. I believe the shoulder of the road is a safety device, BTW. My city spent about $1million to build a tunnel for bikes and pedestrians under a busy roadway. Even in most muni budgets, that's a lot of money. It's not the first tunnel they've built, either. They've built separate bike paths all over town, as well. They had to pay for land acquisition and building.
Let's get some things straight:
  • We--you and I--were not talking about the OP anymore.
  • We were specifically not talking about dedicated cycling infrastructure--I fundamentally agree bicyclists should pay something for infrastructure--bikeways, bridges, tunnels--dedicated to them.
  • We were talking about shared infrastructure--roads--which we agree, because of their importance, will exist with or without bicyclists. The road is there, bought and paid for as a matter of necessity.
  • The shoulder, which is where bike lanes end up, is of little use to drivers. But that is not zero use, and drivers are not functionally (ignoring legality) precluded from using the shoulder in emergencies, even with a bike lane there.
  • Bicyclists are taxpayers. Local roads are often paid for out of the general fund. Therefore, cyclists pay for the bike lanes on roads already, even roads inhospitable or barred to cyclists.

So, they're already paying something in taxes to fund provisioning space for which the marginal initial and ongoing cost to the city is next to nothing.

If you have an actual, definable point of contention--a clearly articulated argument as to how cyclists aren't paying enough for shared infrastructure--please make it.

I, and it looks like others, too, am trying to honestly understand your side. But, we can't do that if you only articulate your position to be that we're wrong, period.
 
Old 08-14-2014, 11:14 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,004,486 times
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Maybe the underlying problem to all the preceding pages of arguments is how we fund local transportation--public and private--infrastructure. If it comes out of the general fund, then it can grow with the general fund and become somewhat monstrous--what's an additional $100k for a project vs. tens of millions for the road works budget, anyway? Pork, that's what.

Where possible, perhaps it should be, and only be, a specifically defined tax on property value. Then the road works budget needs to be calculated within a fixed, predictable pot of money. Want a new road works project? Then it would have to be offset elsewhere, and, thus be justified.
 
Old 08-14-2014, 11:48 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,996 posts, read 102,568,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Maybe the underlying problem to all the preceding pages of arguments is how we fund local transportation--public and private--infrastructure. If it comes out of the general fund, then it can grow with the general fund and become somewhat monstrous--what's an additional $100k for a project vs. tens of millions for the road works budget, anyway? Pork, that's what.

Where possible, perhaps it should be, and only be, a specifically defined tax on property value. Then the road works budget needs to be calculated within a fixed, predictable pot of money. Want a new road works project? Then it would have to be offset elsewhere, and, thus be justified.
I actually have no problem with the gas tax. I would have no problem with an additional sales tax on bikes, tires and helmets to help fund bike infrastructure.
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