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You may have noticed over the past couple of years that often when a bicycle-friendly article appears in a newspaper or online news journal, anti-bicycle commenters like to throw out this argument: “I shouldn’t have to share the road with bicyclists because they aren’t paying their share for the roads.” I shouldn’t have to point out that the most obvious fallacy with this argument is that many bicycle riders also own and operate motor vehicles and are therefore paying licensing fees and gasoline taxes.
The Florida Public Interest Research Group (FPIRG) recently published a report entitled “Do Roads Pay for Themselves? Setting the Record Straight on Transportation Funding” Surprise, motorists: your efforts don’t even come close to paying for the roads you hold so dear.
The Tampa-based Creative Loafing published a rundown of the issues at hand. Among them:
» Federal gasoline taxes were originally intended for debt relief, not roads.
» Highways, roads, and streets have received more than $600 billion in subsidies over the last 63 years in excess of the amount raised through gasoline taxes.
» The amount of money a particular driver pays in gasoline taxes bears little relationship to his or her use of roads funded by gas taxes. Drivers pay gasoline taxes for the miles they drive on local streets and roads, even though those proceeds are typically used to pay for state and federal highways.
Check out the full article by clicking here. To take a look at the FPIRG executive summary, simply click “Do Roads Pay for Themselves?” or click here for the full 45-page PDF. Add it to your advocacy arsenal — it’s nice to have a well-researched rebuttal at hand!