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.
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'.
Who is John Galt?
It's a bit silly to insist that our own projections are the only possible outcome.
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.
weight weenies are not putting a license plate on a bike.
My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.
Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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.
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.
"A wise man once said, never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment." --Frank Zappa--
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.
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.
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.