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Bike Trails are for bikes.

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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:17 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:Toll bike lanes.

You're supposed to pay per use or per season to use some of the routes outside of the city. Not that that has any impact on behavior.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:28 pm

I'm lucky in that almost all of my commuting involves bike lanes on the streets. I prefer this so much more. I've yet to see a pedestrian on one. I finally got tired of the congestion on the paths with both bikes and peds. Especially pedestrians with dogs and often no leash. I'm not a slow pokey rider. I like to ride fast and the bike lanes are the best place to do it. If I do ride the path it's usually more on the outskirts of town or the Monona loop.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:31 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:Toll bike lanes.

You're supposed to pay per use or per season to use some of the routes outside of the city. Not that that has any impact on behavior.
Sure thing. I buy the pass every year. I don't think that the pass is required for the more urban paths, correct? I'm thinking SW path, the one along Monona, the one on the isthmus...
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Meade » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:43 pm

Stebben84 wrote:I'm lucky in that almost all of my commuting involves bike lanes on the streets. I prefer this so much more. I've yet to see a pedestrian on one. I finally got tired of the congestion on the paths with both bikes and peds.

The bike paths (e.g., SW Commuter Path) are primarily for females. If you look, you'll find statements by government officials that express this. The idea is to achieve "gender balance". Don't ask me why - it's just presumed that "gender balance" in bicycle commuting is a good thing and that females need special protections. Lighting the SW Path is another example of making it female-friendly.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby jman111 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:53 pm

Meade wrote:The bike paths (e.g., SW Commuter Path) are primarily for females. If you look, you'll find statements by government officials that express this.

Here's an idea.
YOU look and provide support for your assertion
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:57 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:Toll bike lanes.

You're supposed to pay per use or per season to use some of the routes outside of the city. Not that that has any impact on behavior.
Sure thing. I buy the pass every year. I don't think that the pass is required for the more urban paths, correct? I'm thinking SW path, the one along Monona, the one on the isthmus...

No, but you're already paying for them the same way you pay for use of public roads.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:18 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:No, but you're already paying for them the same way you pay for use of public roads.
I agree. My argument would be that the system by which we pay for public roads does not accurately price the costs of road construction, maintenance, traffic management and related externalities. Basically, the property tax/gas tax model for road infrastructure creates perverse incentives, so it shouldn't be unquestioningly extended to bike path infrastructure as well. A better solution would be to price each mode of transportation based on actual costs (in resources, pollution, logistical management, safety etc) and let people choose what they want to pay for.

Edit: My first sentence is somewhat incomplete. It should really say something more like this: The system by which we pay for public roads does not accurately price the costs of road construction, maintenance, traffic management and related externalities, and does not impose the actual costs of use on the users of the system, but rather applies them indiscriminately to everyone.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby wallrock » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:29 pm

I too love the annual bitching about the idiots on the path both on foot and on bike. In my case I'm nowhere near speedy enough on my trusty old bike to have much of an issue with pedestrians clogging up the works, and I'm usually not on the more popular paths anyway. As it is most of the time I'm walking about and getting in the way of other people. I'd like to think I'm cognizant of my surroundings and courteous to others at all times but it always seems to be the second that I take my attention off the trail to look at some scenic bit of flora I might just drift a bit toward the center of the trail right as someone comes up behind me shouting "ON YOUR LEFT." So it goes.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:35 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote:No, but you're already paying for them the same way you pay for use of public roads.
I agree. My argument would be that the system by which we pay for public roads does not accurately price the costs of road construction, maintenance, traffic management and related externalities. Basically, the property tax/gas tax model for road infrastructure creates perverse incentives, so it shouldn't be unquestioningly extended to bike path infrastructure as well. A better solution would be to price each mode of transportation based on actual costs (in resources, pollution, logistical management, safety etc) and let people choose what they want to pay for.

I agree with you in principle that in an ideal world people would be charged more precisely for their usage of such services as roads in the same way that they are for metered utilities. However, it becomes an impractical enforcement issue. We could increase the bike license fee to cover bike path construction and maintenance and make licenses mandatory, but what kind of police enforcement would be required to support that? What about visitors or students? Do you charge path walkers?

I am a practical libertarian in the sense that I am for far more freedoms than we are currently granted and would like to see costs borne more evenly, but also understand the practicality of certain "socialist" and communal government functions. It's acceptable to me that we use gas taxes to fund transportation and it's up to government to divvy that out to road construction, bike paths, bus systems, trains, etc. Now I don't agree on percentages commonly granted to each of those, but hey, that's why we keep having elections.

Bicyclists don't pay fuel taxes in pursuit of their travel mode. And if more and more people start buying hybrid, electric and (some distant day) hydrogen powered cars, we'll have to come up with some other taxation model. But that is a discussion for another day (and another thread).
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Most local roads are paid for by property taxes. I used to be on the other side of this argument, arguing that gas taxes pay for road construction. That is only true for the Interstate Highway System, and even then it's not 100%. Fuel taxes do not contribute significantly to local urban roads that people use everyday. Thus, neither bicyclists nor automobile operators are paying fuel taxes to pay for the infrastructure that gets them from the highway off-ramp to their door.

The logistical difficulties in providing privately-owned and managed toll or subscription roads have been worked out. There are whole books on the topic. Moreso, improving technology (e.g. RFID chips, Wifi...) will only make enforcement and accounting simpler as we go forward. And anyway, there is ample reasoning to suggest that access to private roads/paths would not be rigidly enforced, requiring each person to pay a toll upon entrance, and requiring constant police supervision (sounds like any subway I've ever been on). An example of this would be road construction by businesses in order to facilitate customers traveling to their store.

Another obvious consequence of private roadways would be a reduction in the probability for sprawl financed by the taxpayers. If Walmart wants to put a huge mega-box on the edge of town, requiring a six-lane highway, then they'll have to build that highway themselves. In such a situation, Walmart might decide to build a smaller store in the city center, basically accomplishing what the progressive planners try and fail to do with their rules and codes.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby rabble » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:13 pm

It is another rite of spring, in which, as songbirds play and muskrats gambol about the shoreline, the songs of "Get off my bike path you morons!" wafting through the trees, answered by "A libertarian solution is the hammer to this nail!" from the Tufted Arturo.

It's the sort of thing that makes sitting on the front porch with a cool drink so worthwhile.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:18 pm

Arturo, come on, no serious libertarian can support the use of RFID chips in anything related to private usage, let alone something allowing government to monitor personal travel. :)

The state also collects fuel taxes and in Wisconsin it is greater than the federal tax: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_taxes ... ted_States
... where does that go?

There is some point in the future where municipalities commonly stop maintaining sections of their road network due to falling usage and rising costs.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:20 pm

(directed at rabble) Yeah, I can't really help it. I also thought that I was wandering off topic, but let's be honest, the actual topic (occasional bike path obstruction) is not really that interesting or complicated.
Last edited by ArturoBandini on Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:24 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:Arturo, come on, no serious libertarian can support the use of RFID chips in anything related to private usage, let alone something allowing government to monitor personal travel. :)
I don't know what your smiley means. RFID is a technology; it is not inherently good or bad, regardless of what your ideology says (kinda like trains, which have also become a political football). I have no problem with people choosing to use RFID chips, or choosing not to use them. I wouldn't advocate their use for government-owned roads, though.
green union terrace chair wrote:The state also collects fuel taxes and in Wisconsin it is greater than the federal tax: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_taxes ... ted_States
... where does that go?
State highways and interstate interchanges? Lawyers and analysts who work on futile high-speed rail proposals?
green union terrace chair wrote:There is some point in the future where municipalities commonly stop maintaining sections of their road network due to falling usage and rising costs.
I don't know what your point is here. If usage falls to a degree that the costs are no longer warranted, then municipalities should stop building and maintaining those sections of road. Duh.
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Re: Bike Trails are for bikes.

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:45 pm

I've been to European cities where there were separate, parallel paved paths for bikes and for peds.
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