I have been following the debate over bicycling on public roads for quite some time now, and I think I have isolated the actual problem. We are all going to have to get back to basics.
Without getting into the unconstitutionality of Drivers Licenses, I will concede that present US Law defines operating a Motor Vehicle on Public Roads as a 'privilege'.
Traveling on public roadways by foot, horse, or bicycle is a Right, protected by our Constitution, and over a hundred years of court rulings.
The Supreme Court has recognized Freedom of Movement as a fundamental Constitutional Right as far back as 1823 (Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (1823) . Furthermore, the courts have consistently ruled that the use of public roads and highways for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common fundamental right which the public and individuals cannot be deprived (Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago, 169 NE 221, and Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 579). "The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment." (Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116, 125.). "The right to travel is a well-established common right that does not owe its existence to the federal government. It is recognized by the courts as a natural right." Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938, at 941..
Driving is a privilege and subject to any restrictions the State feels like enforcing. Using public roads for bicycling is a right, established by the courts and protected by law. So who has more legal right to be on the road???? Think about it.
With this established, a proper course of action can now be determined. As cyclists, we need to band together and use our power of the vote, and lobby to force the States to do their job. Millions of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars are spent on roads to service a 'privileged' activity, while ignoring the needs of the rest of us. We are within our rights to demand that a commensurate portion of those funds be spent on either making existing roads safe for pedestrian, equestrian, and cycling traffic, or build a complete separate system of roads for our use. And, we should go through the courts if necessary. Cyclists could legally be classified as a Disadvantaged Minority under the law, and entitled to just compensation for all the years we have been disadvantaged. The Civil Liberties Union should stay very busy with this one....
Cyclists, as a group, should be able to file an ex parte lawsuit against the Federal Government for not being able to safely exercise our legal right to travel, just like Native Americans, Japanese Americans, and other groups who have been denied their rights have done.
We are going to have to stop being passive, and demand that OUR rights, and not someone's 'privilege', be protected and enforced. The fact that there are more cars on the roads than bikes is irrelevant. We are a Republic. If we went with Majority Rule, then homosexuals, minorities, and possibly women would still be persecuted, and relegated to 2nd-Class Citizen status. In this country, we defend the rights of minorities. Now, it's our turn......