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Old 11-22-08, 04:04 PM   #1
PLyTheMan
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The Art of Arguing Our Cause...

So, on ****** I got into an argument with some troll about licensing cyclists and taxing them etc etc. I realized from the start that he was a troll but I had nothing better to do so I started a short discourse with him.

Link to our debate so you can see it. You might have to scroll down just a bit to see my first reply.

First of all, do you guys think I made fair points and held my end up for a civil debate?

Second, where do you guys go for sources and statistics? I was especially trying to find some data on how the gas tax is spent on local roads. I found the one article I sourced but it was for British Columbia and not for the states. My assumption is it would be close to the same situation here, but I couldn't find anything to source one way or the other. Here is the report on BC. Makes very good arguments and I suggest reading it While I'm done arguing with that guy on ****** if anyone knows any stats on who pays for the building/upkeep of local streets I'd love to know.

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Old 11-22-08, 11:54 PM   #2
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A good place to start would be here:

How much cyclists pay for roads:
http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?re...=11568&page=24
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Old 11-23-08, 08:17 AM   #3
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Well I think you pretty much lost the pretense of civil debate by your first response where you characterized the notion of cyclist user fees repeatedly as "crap". If the guy is a troll, if you bother to respond, you can at least be civil. A troll will reveal their unreasonable nature without prompting.
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Old 11-23-08, 09:24 AM   #4
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The major point I see against licensing cyclist goes like this:
Cars are licensed and insured because they're incredibly dangerous. Licensing reduces the public safety risk cars pose by ostensibly maintaining a minumum level of skill in traffic. Liability insurance covers drivers for the damage they can do to public and others' private property-- which can be astoundingly high. When was the last time a bike lost control, rammed into a house, and killed a family of four?

The truth is, the stakes are just higher for cars, and that's why they're licensed and insured. If we want to address the problem of illegal or reckless cyclist behavior, we've got to realize that it's not an issue of licensing and insurance-- it's an issue of law enforcement and education for cyclists and drivers alike.
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Old 11-23-08, 10:06 AM   #5
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Licensing comes with logistical issues as well.

Will it be bicycles or bicycle riders that are to be licensed, or both? If the bikes are registered, the fees must be kept low enough to discourage forged registration stickers and have a high compliance rate. A twenty dollar registration fee is pretty steep for a $120 bicycle.

Is the goal to enforce traffic laws or raise revenue? Usually neither of these goals are advanced by reg/lic schemes. Too few bicycles to overcome the cost of the bureaucracy needed to implement the plan, and traffic violations can be enforced now as it is.

How will such schemes be enforced? Tickets? Impound the bicycle? Age limits? (Will children have to be licensed? Will we require all children to carry bicycle ID? Do want the police hassling our kids over bicycle registration?)

How big is the program? City-wide, state-wide or national? Each has their own set of problems. If it is a city or state program, how do you deal with folks riding in from outside the program? A national program would require the consent of congress- Talk about making a federal case out of bicycle fees!

Why bicycles? Why not roller skates, shoes and baby strollers?
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Old 11-23-08, 12:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat View Post
Well I think you pretty much lost the pretense of civil debate by your first response where you characterized the notion of cyclist user fees repeatedly as "crap". If the guy is a troll, if you bother to respond, you can at least be civil. A troll will reveal their unreasonable nature without prompting.
And here I thought that by saying 'crap' I was being fairly civil =D Sometimes it's hard for me online to see a troll and not start slinging mud with him straight out. I'm a sucker for trolling on the internet mostly because I find it so amusing, I tried to keep it fairly civil throughout the rest...

Chip, thanks for the link to that book, that looks like a lot of the info I was looking for. I'm pretty sure I addressed the absurdity of taxing cyclists and not skateboarders or runners etc. in some other thread where he was bringing up the same line and he never responded to that point. Also never responded to the problem of children riding bikes in the same comment on the other thread. That's a great point about the areas of the licensing, from local > state > national, I hadn't even thought of that before.

After my second long reply I realized that he really was a troll considering he just kept saying the same crap over again and had zero sources to back anything he said up. I guess I should have seen it a bit earlier, but like I said, I'm a sucker for trolling online.
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Old 11-23-08, 04:38 PM   #7
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The art to arguing your cause is lost when you have to resort to swearing, so is the debate.
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