Dick Prosence: Freeloaders rejoice
November 9, 2009
To the editor:To the editor:
To the editor:
I have been riding bicycles for 76 of my 85 years. During those years, I've ridden hundreds of miles of city streets, county roads and bike trails, including two of the best in Colorado — Glenwood Canyon and Vail Pass. All that time, I've been a "freeloader," since I've never contributed one thin dime toward the cost of those biking facilities.
I've been freeloading, like all other bicyclists, depending mostly on highway-user taxes to pay the way.
Now the Colorado Department of Transportation Commission has announced a new policy "to provide transportation infrastructure that accommodates" bicycles.
The needs of bicyclists and pedestrians shall be included in the planning, design and operation of transportation facilities, as a matter of routine.
This is in the midst of perhaps the most dire time in highway funding history.
This new policy resembles the hated "unfunded federal mandate" (added expense to a program, without the addition of more income).
What I expect to see are separated bike paths along every rural highway improvement project, when all that is needed is a fairly wide shoulder along which bikers could ride. The shoulder also would benefit the highway user who is footing the bill.
How about if us "freeloaders" supported a 10 percent tax on all new bike sales to pay for the cost of the new "policy" on highway projects?