Licensing Bicycles: It's Time to Pay Our Fair Share
What is not part of the Key Elements or the Objectives, is a way to identify if the cyclist using public streets are aware of the rules and regulations
July 02, 2012Dear Editor;
Many years ago both people and bicycles used the same sidewalks to move from place to place, and at that time it was considered fair, because our taxes paid for that space to commute, but as more people began to use their bicycles to commute from place to place, both bike commuting and walking on the same sidewalks became dangerous. Many accidents occurred between bike riders and people walking on the side walks, so cyclist began to use public streets intended for motorized use and at that time nothing was said because the marking on the streets and the traffic signs and lights were already paid for by license fees, paid by motorized vehicle users, both two wheels and four.
Today cyclist no longer share the streets with motorized vehicles, cyclist have their own bike lanes, both on the streets (i.e. 150 miles of bicycle lanes, bicycle Boulevards, and off street paths,) and on the bridges (i.e., Broadway, Steel, Burnside, and the Hawthorne). Bike use on public streets in 1975 was 200 cyclists per day and by 1995 the numbers had grown to over 2000
cyclist per day and bridge use, due to the fact that lanes were set aside for bike travel in 1991 has increased from .001 to over 322%, further, cyclist have over 1,400 publicly installed bicycle racks and bicycle stations, that provide shower facilities and long term bike storage.
Cyclist all over the State of Oregon, have backed a Master Plan that will be implemented over a twenty year period; this plan has Key Elements and Objectives that will serve the needs of new and old cyclist living in our State. What is not part of the Key Elements or the Objectives, is a way to identify if the cyclist using public streets are aware of the rules and regulations that have been put in place to protect cyclist and other users of our public streets; to date anyone can put on a helmet, jump on a bike and endanger anyone he or she pleases The Key Elements nor the Master Plan Objectives address age limits for public street use of bicycles; the Key Elements has also failed to ask the question, why are we letting kids ride their bikes in public streets without a visible way for the car driver, or the motor bike driver to know if that child has been trained in the use of proper turn signals or where to stop when a traffic light is blinking. I believe as a long time bike rider, it is time for us to pay our fair share of the cost to put this Master Plan into operation; I further believe that we should have a visible license plate on every bike, backed by all the requirements that having a license requires. The new revenue, received from requiring all bikes that use public streets, to have a visible license plate, will pay for all future projects that benefit old and new bike riders and will assist in making the 20 year plan a reality.
Cyclist are planning for big changes in the State of Oregon, and this responsibility should not be a burden left for someone else to bear. I end this rant! by stating that The President, believed that people making more than a million dollars a year should pay their fair share of taxes, I too believe that as a cyclist using public streets and bridges that have lanes set aside for my use, that I should also, PAY MY FAIR SHARE.