"Bike lanes give cyclists free ride at expense of drivers, urban planning Bike lanes" Chicago Tribune

"It's the same arrogance that lets cyclists tell themselves they are not bound by the same rules of the road that govern those of us behind the wheel. So they glide through stoplights and signs, veer onto sidewalks when it suits them, even hold up traffic by pedaling slowly in the middle of the road.

"They are rarely ticketed for these behaviors because they have no operator's license, no vehicle registration, no practical way, really, for the police to process them into the judicial/enforcement system. Which also means they don't pay for much. No gas tax. No fees. Theirs is pretty much a free ride."

For the full article go here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-bike-lanes...

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Opinions... like a certain universal anatomical feature: everyone has 'em and the ALL stink!

The only argument against this sort of thing would be to point out exactly how little gas, licensing fees, toll, etc., actually cover the costs of motoring infrastructure, but someone like this is far beyond listening. i get tired of their whining. It's depressing.

It'd be too much to wish for them to STFU & STFD.

Nice video for bicycling advocacy though.

With the tragedies Chicago has had in the cycling community this summer, I feel it's just written in bad taste.  

well trib's gotta get them clickeroonies 

i hope you send this post along to the Trib!

Ho, hum.  Yet another lazy, ignorant, entirely unresearched article slamming cyclists.  This isn't journalism, it's pure hackwork of the sort that is sending the Trib the way of the dodo.  Apparently, newspapers can't afford to employ fact-checkers or editors any more.

How does John McCarron misinform us?  Let me count the ways, citing actual sources:

     1.  Auto use is not "stalling."  What matters in terms of congestion is not how many miles are driven per capita, but how many vehicles are on the road and how many miles are being driven.  In 1990, there were about 193,000,000 vehicles registered in the United States.  As of 2014, that figure had increased to 260,000,000.  http://www.statista.com/statistics/183505/number-of-vehicles-in-the...  The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Commission puts out a nice chart showing total miles driven in the U.S.http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/DOT-Miles-Travele...  It shows that right now, almost 3.2 trillion miles a year are being driven in the U.S.  That figure, right now, is at an all-time high.  By comparison, in 1990 the total figure was 2.1 trillion.  So, it matters not that millenials may be driving a little less.  The hard numbers are that since 1990, the number of motor vehicles on the road has increased by at least 25% and the number of miles driven has increased just about 35%.  There are more vehicles in America being driven more miles than ever before, by a wide margin.  

     2.  There are only so many streets and roads that can be built or expanded.  According to the Federal Highway Administration, between 1990 and 2013 the lane-miles of paved roads in the U.S. increased by 7%.  http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2013/vmt422c.cfm  Therefore, given all the above, driving in American has not "stalled."  It continues to increase unabated.  Anecdotally, I would suggest that the situation is even more aggravated in older urban areas in Chicago, where there is no possibility of creating major new roads and streets.  Also, Americans being the short-sighted people who they are, the second that gas prices began dropping, a lot of people started buying pickup trucks and SUVs again.  http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/04/autos/gas-prices-suv-pickup-sales/   

     3.  McCarron, as is quoted in the original post, whines that cyclists "...don't pay for much.  No gas tax.  No fees.  Theirs is pretty much a free ride."  Here we go again.  Vehicle license registrations, fees, tools, and gas taxes only account for 50.4% of local road spending.  http://taxfoundation.org/article/gasoline-taxes-and-user-fees-pay-o...  The rest comes from general revenue sources, which means from everyone.  So there's that.  Also, there's the fact that the vast majority of cyclists also drive, which means that they are in fact paying for the roads too.  One survey a few years ago found that nearly nine out of 10 bicyclists in Oregon and southwest Washington also own and drive automobiles.  http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2009/10/survey_90_percent_of_o...  I am sure that many Chainlink people also own a car and pay their fees and tolls like everybody else.  

Statements that cyclists somehow don't pay their way are utterly nonsensical.  Plus, there's the fact that compared to cars and especially trucks, bicycles are like pretty little ballerinas dancing lightly along the roadway.  According to one calculation, one average-sized car does over 17,000 times as much damage to the road as one large man on a heavy steel bicycle.  http://pedalfortcollins.com/greatest-demand-on-tax-dollars/  Regardless of the exact multiple, there is no doubt that the amount of wear and tear a bicycle does to the road is negligible.  Every time car-owning Chainlinkers ride instead of driving, they are reducing road maintenance costs.  In reality, cyclists contribute a lot more to roads for drivers than the other way around.  I'd be happy to see McCarron get off his butt and try to refute that proposition.  

Anyway, some of this is just venting.  I used to work at a newspaper and I hate sloppy (to non-existent, in McCarron's case) journalism.  I'm really tired of hearing the same dumb cliches again and again.  The truth is out there, John.  It's not even that hard to find.   

Yes, it is a pity and a shame what has happened to journalism around town nowadays. I think they are now relying on free-lancers and interns.

Here's our response to this latest Trib trolling on Streetsblog: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2016/09/10/the-rant-is-due-yet-another-a...



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