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Fairweather

Aggressive Seattle Bicyclists

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-Regardless of the fact above, most cyclists are also motorists and therefore are taxed in exactly the same manner as all other motorists, anyway.

 

This is the most popular one, and I hear it a lot from my road bike friends. But by this same logic, I shouldn't have to license my motorcycle either, no? I mean, I own a car too, so the logic flows, right? Ridiculous. :rolleyes:

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The vast majority if car-cyclist collisions in Seattle are driver-at-fault, according to Seattle DOT. A friend has been killed and another paralyzed. I've been hit twice, myself. But if course FW says it's the CYCLISTS who are out of control. Naturally. I wonder why you think I'd want to go ride bikes with you after saying something like this, Brian?

 

I don't ride on the streets. Too dangerous. I ride trails and big hills that you probably wouldn't handle well anyhow. :fahq:

 

In any event, I don't necessarily "want" to ride with you--I simply extended an invitation to you, that is, to join us on one of our rides. And you still are welcome to do so.

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-Regardless of the fact above, most cyclists are also motorists and therefore are taxed in exactly the same manner as all other motorists, anyway.

 

This is the most popular one, and I hear it a lot from my road bike friends. But by this same logic, I shouldn't have to license my motorcycle either, no? I mean, I own a car too, so the logic flows, right? Ridiculous. :rolleyes:

 

It's your logic that doesn't flow here. Is the tax burden of your motorcycle equivalent to your automobile? Cuz I sure see an awful lot of lunatics on crotch rockets. Some of them even murder cyclists and get away with it. The solution to an enforcment problem is not taxation. But I'm willing to meet you halfway - we adopt the dutch model, in the event of an accident the motorist is always at fault unless it can be proven otherwise, and I'll support licensure, and perhaps even modest ADDITIONAL taxation of cyclists.

Edited by E-rock

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-Regardless of the fact above, most cyclists are also motorists and therefore are taxed in exactly the same manner as all other motorists, anyway.

 

This is the most popular one, and I hear it a lot from my road bike friends. But by this same logic, I shouldn't have to license my motorcycle either, no? I mean, I own a car too, so the logic flows, right? Ridiculous. :rolleyes:

 

It's your logic that doesn't flow here. Is the tax burden of your motorcycle equivalent to your automobile? Cuz I sure see an awful lot of lunatics on crotch rockets. Some of them even murder cyclists and get away with it. The solution to an enforcment problem is not taxation. But I'm willing to meet you halfway - we adopt the dutch model, in the event of an accident the motorist is always at fault unless it can be proven otherwise, and I'll support licensure, and perhaps even modest ADDITIONAL taxation of cyclists.

 

No dice; too many stupid/crazy/angst-filled bicyclists. As for motorcycles, yes, they cost about the same to license as cars. My 2001 750cc Honda is $57/year; my 2012 Toyota Yaris is $78. Your logic is still flawed.

 

Edit: Ok, deal! Since the legal burden you just described is the status quo, I accept your revisions. When shall we begin taxing these entitled scofflaws?

Edited by Fairweather

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On a personal level, I'm not against the idea of licensing and taxing cyclists, especially if it means more amenities for cyclists, like bike paths.

 

But, as a society I think we're better off encouraging more people to bike rather than drive by not taxing them. I think cyclists' impact on society is relatively minimal compared to the benefit: better health, less traffic / congestion, more parking, less emissions, etc.

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No dice; too many stupid/crazy/angst-filled bicyclists. As for motorcycles, yes, they cost about the same to license as cars. My 2001 750cc Honda is $57/year; my 2012 Toyota Yaris is $78. Your logic is still flawed.

 

Edit: Ok, deal! Since the legal burden you just described is the status quo, I accept your revisions. When shall we begin taxing these entitled scofflaws?

 

Are you trolling now? Of course my logic is flawed, I'm just turning yours on its head. I dont' actually believe that. But if we're talking about your registration, that's a bureaucratic fee, not a tax, and your motorcycle certainly is taxed less, in the way of consumption taxes, which are actually what pay for roadways, than your car is.

 

I agree with you there's to much anger on the roadway, but it's most certainly, and disproportionately behind the wheel. And when the angry motorists start spouting off with their "taxes=rights" fallacies, they don't start the argument by qualifying it with, "well if your bike isn't taxed, why is my motorcycle" (to which I would say, "because we don't consume the commodity that's taxed"). They start out just the way you did: I hate these people so let's tax them. Or worse, they just kill them and drive away.

 

To your second point, you can't actually believe that the status quo in the US is equivalent to the Netherlands, can you?

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As someone who bike commutes regularly during the warmer months (I'm a weenie), I found that NYT piece pretty unsettling. I've lost more friends to climbing than biking, but I'm beginning to wonder which is safer. I very nearly was killed/maimed last summer by some guy in a creeper van who pulled out in front/ on top of me. To think that he could just say "sorry" and walk away is pretty infuriating when I was 100% in the right, it was daylight, and I was wearing a neon jersey.

 

Although I can certainly understand people's frustration with lawless bikers (I've felt that way at times while driving), mostly I get the sense from the "outrage" that most folks have absolutely no idea what its like to be a bike commuter. Bikes aren't killing and maiming people on a regular basis, so what's the big deal with your "out of control biker problem"? Cite the yahoos leave the rest of us alone.

 

Most of us are just trying to survive and get some exercise. The anger really baffles me.

 

 

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On a personal level, I'm not against the idea of licensing and taxing cyclists, especially if it means more amenities for cyclists, like bike paths.

 

But, as a society I think we're better off encouraging more people to bike rather than drive by not taxing them. I think cyclists' impact on society is relatively minimal compared to the benefit: better health, less traffic / congestion, more parking, less emissions, etc.

 

I agree with you, Pete that we should be encouraging more people to get on their bikes, but I disagree to an extent about cycle paths. First of all, true cycle paths, like the Burke-Gillman, that are completely segregated invite a lot of alternate use, and these quickly become recreational corridors, rather than true commuter routes. Secondly, I think the drive for bicycle lanes in the roadways, cycle tracks, green boxes, etc. is driven largely by uniformed bicycle advocacy groups. The people that love bike lanes are the same people that slink up on the right side of stopped traffic in the door zone, and get right or left-hooked by cars at intersections because they're not visible.

 

Rather than additional infrastructure (although I really like sharrows when they're used properly), I think the best solution to the ongoing driver-cyclist conflicts is increased awareness education. If licensure is required to make that happen, so be it. I don't think it is though. Adding some questions to the drivers exam would help. Making us take drivers exams and renew our licenses more often would help. Public awareness campaigns would help. Unfortunately, we have to learn the hard way right now.

 

I was a dumbass in my time, and it took me many close calls before doing some research and realizing that I could avoid drivers trying to turn in front of me at the last second while I'm travelling at speed by taking the lane well before an intersection, as one example. I use this particular example because bike lanes, or worse yet, that abomination they recently installed on Broadway in Seattle, put me back into harm's way - now that I have the knowledge to avoid a common conflict - rather than making me safer. I would argue that predictable, assertive, lawful riding goes a lot farther towards improving safety and driver-cyclist relations than any bike lane.

 

I think for people like Fairweather, who seems to have an axe to grind, the calls for licensure/registration/taxation is a double edged sword, because right now the chicken-shits who don't know how to ride are winning the infrastructure debate. in a world where I have to pay taxes to ride my bike, you can be sure to find me in the left wheel track of every traffic lane, where I have the right to be.

Edited by E-rock

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Not much to disagree with here--except the education component should be equally placed on the cyclists.

 

I visit the UW campus regularly, and I can tell you that the University Way entrance is a great place to watch their misdeeds in real time.

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Not much to disagree with here--except the education component should be equally placed on the cyclists.

 

I visit the UW campus regularly, and I can tell you that the University Way entrance is a great place to watch their misdeeds in real time.

 

Agree 100%. I used to be one of those morons in the U district.

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That was a good NYT article. I identified with a lot in there. I get why the author chooses not to bike commute. The number of my friends/acquaintances who have been injured or have lifelong disabilities from cycling accidents is more than the number friends involved in climbing accidents (to be fair, most of my climbing friends are trade route volcano climbers).

 

I started to approach biking the same way as climbing in terms of risk management. I have the reflective vest, lights and the gear to stay visible, but even so, I eventually stopped biking around the outskirts of Bellingham at night. Biking on the shoulder of a 35 mph road at night, especially on a Fri or Sat night- there's only so much a cyclist can do to mitigate the hazard.

 

 

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Question: Is a fixed gear bike anything other than a fashion statement that hipsters seem to enjoy making?

 

I can't think of any functional advantage of a fixed gear bike vs. say, a 21 speed commuter bike. Unless maybe you are on some workout plan and the added effort to pedal a fixie is functional because you are much less efficient and burning more calories.

 

Otherwise riding a fixie when there are other options available seems like a self-imposed physical disability.

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Question: Is a fixed gear bike anything other than a fashion statement that hipsters seem to enjoy making?

 

I can't think of any functional advantage of a fixed gear bike vs. say, a 21 speed commuter bike. Unless maybe you are on some workout plan and the added effort to pedal a fixie is functional because you are much less efficient and burning more calories.

 

Otherwise riding a fixie when there are other options available seems like a self-imposed physical disability.

 

Fixie frames exist for track racing, primarily. The trend to ride them on the road is not much more than a trend. Some guys train in the winter with them, similar to a single speed (no derailler to get all iced up), and some folks claim that they improve pedalling efficiency, but others argue that's not true, that they actually accentualt dead spots in your spin. Who knows. That guy in the video though, he's got bigger problems than his bike.

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