Friday, June 9, 2017

When We Can Hear Portland Out On Its Bike Tax Idea


From my 2009 trip to Portland, Oregon. I haven't been back to Portland since.
Portland, Oregon is considering a tax on bicycles (presently floated as a 3% tax on new bicycles costing over $500) It has been 'on the table' for a while. We should talk about taxes on bikes since we are road users. But the question is: when should Portland - or any city, for that matter -  talk about taxes for bikes? 


When I am not greeted by inane mixed messages when I go out to buy socks, groceries or get a haircut then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea. 

When I can ride over or through a highway interchange on an expressway without wondering where they'll chain my ghost bike, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea.

When I have seen research that proves driving a car to work instead of riding a bike has extraordinary health and environmental benefits that increase longevity and reduces health care costs, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea.* 

                        Homemade cargo bike (folds so I can take it on VTA)

When I don't have to sit motionless at a left turn only traffic light waiting for a car to pull in behind me so it will set off the green light, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea.

When you convince me that cyclists haven't, in fact, been riding in an incomplete, patchy and dangerous system of roads that kills hundreds of my cycling brothers and sisters every year, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea. 


When you abolish all free parking and get rid of parking minimums that encourage sprawl and discourage cycling, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea. 

    Box Bike by DIYBIKING.COM

When the federal government gives me a mileage reimbursement for every mile I ride my bike to scope out suppliers/buy tools for Box Bike by DIYBIKING.COM that is equal or greater than the $0.54 per mile I am paid to drive my SUV for business reasons, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea. 

When 97% of global warming scientists concur that the best thing for me to do is to drive a gas powered car, a hybrid car, or an electric car instead of biking, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea. 


When states like yours and California stop using my tax dollars to help some stock grant-laden twentysomething buy a $100,000 Tesla he can afford anyway then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea.

When cars stop putting up to 17,000 times more wear on a road than my cargo bike does, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea.** 


When you look at your books and somehow discover that building, maintaining, and encouraging car ownership is a smart long term financial and ecological thing to do, then I'll hear you out about your bike tax idea. 

Until these answers are given a bike tax idea will remain the stupidest.
Period.
Idea.
Period.
Ever.

Period.

Take this half-asleep, half-baked, full brain-fart off the table where a uncyclist dressed as Darth Vader playing flaming bagpipes can run over it. If not the politicians that leave it on will see my name on the donor list of their opponents before the next election. 

The most obnoxious pro-bike tax politicians can expect to see the donation links of their opponents on the coveted space on the right side of this page - now reserved for Be The Change Yoga - now doing Yoga in St. James Park again - and the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition's August 8 Bike Summit

Do the smart thing, Portland. I hope we can remain friends.

Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

    From my 2009 bike trip in Portland, Oregon. I haven't been back since. 

* that does not get discussed nearly, nearly, nearly enough. A lot of municipalities, still paying for ill-advised car-centric roads, is now going to be footing the bill for the unhealthy world they helped create. 

** this doesn't get discussed enough either. Cars put on the wear that causes potholes (and forces roads and parking lots to be as wide and expensive as they are) so if you are a motorist: lobby against the bike tax! Not only will you have more parking spots to choose from when you get to where you are going but fewer road repairs!






1 comment:

  1. You must have had a hell lot of a time travelling almost half of Europe and part of Americas on a bike. Thanks for amazing share, it has motivated me to experience the same now ;)

    ReplyDelete