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Old 01-31-11, 04:16 AM   #26
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Well, here in Australia, the "anti-terror" laws allow them to detain anyone over the age of 10 on suspicion of knowing something.


There are a whole lot of people I've met who could never be detained for that!!
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Old 01-31-11, 12:25 PM   #27
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Well, as pointed out above, having licenses for bicycles is rather counterproductive. The reason for this is that it is hard to justify a tax high enough to cover the administrative costs of running the program. In the USA, the cost of roads comes largely from the general taxes. So everyone who pays taxes, contributes to the roads already.

Also, wear and tear on roads is proportional to the weight of the vehicle. Bicycles are so light as to do virtually zero damage to the roads. So wear and tear by bikes is not an issue. Another aspect is that bicycles take up relatively little space on the roads. How many cyclists can ride in one lane of traffic compared to the number of automobiles? It is probably something close to ten times as many. So as people switch to bikes, one should see less road congestion, not more.

As for speed, bikes in most urban and even suburban settings are faster than automobiles. The local papef used to run a "race" between a cyclist and an auto on an annual basis around here. For something like 20 years running, the bike won.
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Old 02-02-11, 09:42 AM   #28
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As a kid in the 1950s in Denver, Colorado, we went to the local fire station, got a 'safety' check and a license plate for a buck or so. We thought we were big stuff, having our own real license tag just like our parents' cars. I recall a sense of pride in having that little metal license tag on the rear seat stay tubes on my Schwinn!

Fast forward to a concern some of us have regarding our treasured bikes of today: THEFT. I would go along with a mandatory licensing program if the system would make bicycle theft a major felony crime and actually prosecuted bicycle thieves. Seeing bike thieves serving hard time in prison for lifting valuable bikes would really boost my spirits and give me more faith in the 'system'.
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Old 02-02-11, 11:57 AM   #29
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with the rising price of oil/fuel the number of cyclist on public roads is going to increase dramatically.
Incorrect.

Cyclists will never be more than a very small minority of travellers on the road.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-02-11, 12:28 PM   #30
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Incorrect.

Cyclists will never be more than a very small minority of travellers on the road.
You mean, "I speculate the future in a different way". Nobody knows for sure how things are going to turn out. If fuel prices go high enough more people will look for alternatives - that might mean anything from cycling to car sharing to living closer to work.

It's a bit silly to insist that our own projections are the only possible outcome.
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Old 02-02-11, 01:35 PM   #31
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Yeah, I think they are missing a revenue opportunity.

We have gas taxes, liquor taxes, cigarette taxes and even a tax on movie theater tickets. There's taxes on pretty much everything except running and bicycling. Why should runners and bike riders get off scot free?

I think that runners and bike riders should be taxed so much per mile and simply put on the honor system. It would raise more revenue that way because runners and bike riders always lie about the number of miles they travel.
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Old 02-02-11, 01:38 PM   #32
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Yeah, I think they are missing a revenue opportunity.

We have gas taxes, liquor taxes, cigarette taxes and even a tax on movie theater tickets. There's taxes on pretty much everything except running and bicycling. Why should runners and bike riders get off scot free?

I think that runners and bike riders should be taxed so much per mile and simply put on the honor system. It would raise more revenue that way because runners and bike riders always lie about the number of miles they travel.
The feds or state tax folks could go to BikeJournals.com or similar and figure the tax directly, right off the miles. Say 3 cents per mile? That would tend to keep bicyclers a bit more . . . ah . . . "conservative" in their miles reports.
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Old 02-02-11, 07:18 PM   #33
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weight weenies are not putting a license plate on a bike.
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Old 02-02-11, 07:29 PM   #34
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weight weenies are not putting a license plate on a bike.
Do they make CF license plates? It oculd become a status symbol.
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Old 02-02-11, 07:44 PM   #35
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weight weenies are not putting a license plate on a bike.
That's 'cause they are just weenies!!
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Old 02-02-11, 09:38 PM   #36
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You mean, "I speculate the future in a different way". Nobody knows for sure how things are going to turn out. If fuel prices go high enough more people will look for alternatives - that might mean anything from cycling to car sharing to living closer to work.

It's a bit silly to insist that our own projections are the only possible outcome.
Trust me on this one. The vast majority of people in the U.S. will never ride a bike for transportation. Think of your own extended family. Which ones would even consider it? Besides me, I can think of maybe one other person in my family that would try it.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 02-02-11, 10:16 PM   #37
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Trust me on this one. The vast majority of people in the U.S. will never ride a bike for transportation. Think of your own extended family. Which ones would even consider it?
I tend to agree with you that even if/when fuel prices become prohibitive for our current car use there will be other alternatives such as mass transit combined with highly efficient electric scooters and carts, etc. along with redesigned cities and neighborhoods that minimize the need for so much daily travel.

But in my case the answer to your question would be just about everyone. My parents are now both deceased, but my father did sometimes bike to work and as a young man he did a solo bike tour across the Alps. He rarely used a bike for transportation, but certainly wouldn't have ruled it out as an option. My mother didn't get a driver's license until after I left for college and frequently got around by bicycle. When we didn't have our own washing machine for awhile, she and I would load up our bikes with loads of clothes and ride to a laundromat. My aunt was still hopping on her bike for a daily ride to the neighborhood bakery when she was in her '90s and sometimes my uncle would accompany her by bike on local shopping trips. My brother did some solo bike tours through Europe when younger and still uses a bike for local urban transportation occasionally. My wife no longer bicycles, but she and I used to commute on our tandem. And our daughter has also not biked recently, but it wasn't that long ago that she was still in college and used a bike as daily transportation.
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Old 02-03-11, 12:24 AM   #38
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I think that runners and bike riders should be taxed so much per mile...
...and let us not forget the walkers...and those that like to sit...and those that breathe...indeed - remember to log how many cubic feet of air (liters are for Socialists )

Could I see the possibility that so many bikes are on the road it would be fiscally feasible for us to be taxed? Yes. Do I think that bikes could replace cars is gasoline was high enough? I don't think so. True, $10/gallon would push a lot of folks to bikes, but not all. Remember, in the US, cars are not only transportation, they're status symbols and reflections of self. Even if gas was ridiculously high, there are some that would still insist on driving...even if it meant a Yaris with leather seats.
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Old 02-03-11, 01:16 AM   #39
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Fast forward to a concern some of us have regarding our treasured bikes of today: THEFT. I would go along with a mandatory licensing program if the system would make bicycle theft a major felony crime and actually prosecuted bicycle thieves. Seeing bike thieves serving hard time in prison for lifting valuable bikes would really boost my spirits and give me more faith in the 'system'.
You might have a point if stolen bikes was something the police might actually pursue, but given their reluctance to pursue any other crimes, that's highly unlikely.

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You mean, "I speculate the future in a different way". Nobody knows for sure how things are going to turn out. If fuel prices go high enough more people will look for alternatives - that might mean anything from cycling to car sharing to living closer to work.
Most of them will just make other sacrifices so they can continue to drive. Already seen it happen here, where poorer people will choose to buy fuel for their cars over food for their children. All that will happen if the price of fuel keeps rising is that the middle classes will make the same choice.

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Yeah, I think they are missing a revenue opportunity.
No, they aren't. Several jurisdictions in a number of different countries have looked into it already, and have done the calculations. The conclusion has always been that it won't generate enough revenue to pay the costs of running the system. The question to ask is not "why should cyclists get off scot-free?". The question that really gets to the heart of this matter is "Will the rest of the tax payers be happy to see their tax dollars spent on subsidising a registration system for cyclists that would run at a loss?" The answer seems to be a resounding "no".
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Old 02-03-11, 03:43 AM   #40
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Trust me on this one. The vast majority of people in the U.S. will never ride a bike for transportation. Think of your own extended family. Which ones would even consider it? Besides me, I can think of maybe one other person in my family that would try it.
You may be right, my point is that to automatically assume that "the vast majority" of some 250,000,000+ people will behave exactly as you predict and that any alternative prediction is therefore "incorrect" is, in my opinion, somewhat short-sighted to say the least.

Two years ago I regarded cycling in my home town as something I'd never do. Now my wife can't keep me off the bike. If fuel prices get prohibitive the simple fact is we don't know how people will respond, whether they move to cities to use mass transit (I live in a city and I'd rather cycle than use mass transit, despite being relatively new to it) or just don't move around so much we'll never know for sure until it happens.
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Old 02-03-11, 03:49 AM   #41
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As the number of drivers on the road decreases so will the costs associated with maintaining roads. Bikes cause a negligible amount of wear to roadways and don't require the complexity or scope automobile traffic does.
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Old 02-03-11, 07:12 AM   #42
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Do they make CF license plates? It oculd become a status symbol.
Ooh! I like that.

You couldn't qualify for the more expensive carbon fiber license plate until you pass - say - the 8,000 mile per year level. No bike rider worth his salt would want to be seen with the same aluminum license plate as the commoners so they'd lie like hell to qualify for the carbon.
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Old 02-03-11, 02:03 PM   #43
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That's diabolically brilliant!
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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