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  #1001  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 12:21 PM
Citizen_Bane Citizen_Bane is offline
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I wonder how many motorists there were before roads were installed?
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  #1002  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 2:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pblaauw View Post
Cyclists aren't riding around town on penny-farthings, Keith.
Is someone going to tell Keith that gasoline-powered cars were invented in the 1870s, and produced commercially by the 1890s?
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  #1003  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 5:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Is someone going to tell Keith that gasoline-powered cars were invented in the 1870s, and produced commercially by the 1890s?
Of course, and like most inventions, the development advanced quickly to the highly sophisticated machines they are today. Bicycles, meanwhile, have largely stayed in statis, even still relying on tire technology that was abandoned by most everything else 60 years ago. Motorists are not driving newer versions of the Curved Dash Olds, while cyclists are still using Victorian-era designs. It is remarkable. Perhaps they should be wearing waistcoats, detachable collars, stovepipe hats and for those of the female persuasion, bustles.
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  #1004  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Of course, and like most inventions, the development advanced quickly to the highly sophisticated machines they are today. Bicycles, meanwhile, have largely stayed in statis, even still relying on tire technology that was abandoned by most everything else 60 years ago. Motorists are not driving newer versions of the Curved Dash Olds, while cyclists are still using Victorian-era designs. It is remarkable. Perhaps they should be wearing waistcoats, detachable collars, stovepipe hats and for those of the female persuasion, bustles.
Well, to be fair, some of the new electric assist bicycles available today are very nice, with some having ranges approaching 100 km (I believe). I'm toying with getting one myself.

This doesn't take away from the fact however that the bicycle is an impractical conveyance (especially for commuting) for about 60% of the year (rain, snow and wind).
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  #1005  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2020, 6:02 PM
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Well, to be fair, some of the new electric assist bicycles available today are very nice, with some having ranges approaching 100 km (I believe). I'm toying with getting one myself.
They are quite nice now and are sometimes the best mode of transportation for medium-length trips assuming some basic bike infrastructure is there or roads are suitable.

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This doesn't take away from the fact however that the bicycle is an impractical conveyance (especially for commuting) for about 60% of the year (rain, snow and wind).
This depends on where you live and what your standards are. But even if it's only used 40% of the time, the cost of the bike is about 1/20 that of a car, maybe less. The cost of cycling infrastructure is also very low.
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  #1006  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:53 PM
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But that is because they chose to use an antiquated transportation device dating mostly unchanged from the Victorian era.
Wait until you hear how outdated walking is
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  #1007  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2020, 5:26 AM
pblaauw pblaauw is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Of course, and like most inventions, the development advanced quickly to the highly sophisticated machines they are today. Bicycles, meanwhile, have largely stayed in statis, even still relying on tire technology that was abandoned by most everything else 60 years ago. Motorists are not driving newer versions of the Curved Dash Olds, while cyclists are still using Victorian-era designs. It is remarkable. Perhaps they should be wearing waistcoats, detachable collars, stovepipe hats and for those of the female persuasion, bustles.
No sense improving whats already good.

Last edited by pblaauw; Aug 15, 2020 at 4:58 AM. Reason: TYPO
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  #1008  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2020, 11:40 AM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Originally Posted by pblaauw View Post
No sense bimproving whats already good.
And that’s based on Keith’s false premise that bikes haven’t improved. Bikes are lighter, stronger, more comfortable, and easier to maintain than they ever were before. Disk brakes are now a thing, as are various easy ways to shift gears. Take a bike from even just 25 years ago and compare it to one from today and there are very clear technological improvements. And that’s before we get into electric-assist bicycles.

The other big thing that has improved is the helmet. Helmets today are lightweight, breathable, and I assume safer than when I was a kid.
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  #1009  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2020, 1:25 PM
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The earliest bikes - the penny farthing - are as different in their basic design from modern bikes as the earliest cars are to modern cars. But what should be obvious is that getting side-tracked discussing such nonsense is a waste of time. We often hear that the hecklers simply have different policy positions or want to advocate for prudence with taxpayer dollars. In reality, there are some who simply dislike people who have a particular cultural difference and want to see them excluded and subjugated. For them, no amount of reasoning, information, or patience will quell their animosity. You have to be able to tell the difference between people with whom you can engage with in a good faith exchange of ideas, as opposed to those whose "concerns" are simply an expression of contempt for others. For the former, if you address their objections with reasonable, rational explanations or solutions they're satisfied. For the latter, nothing will change their minds and you're simply allowing them to dominate the course of the discussion.
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  #1010  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2020, 1:48 PM
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I saw an interesting post over on Facebook from a Saint Johner complaining about the bicycling lobby asking for funding to improve biking lanes (full separation) on the uptown Saint John peninsula and suggesting that the bicycling community should be funding this themselves.

An interesting idea. There is no question that the different levels of government collect gazillions of dollars from car owners and motorists through HST on car repairs and sales, various sundry gasoline taxes and parking meters in order to fund highway and street infrastructure. I wonder if there is any way to generate taxation revenue from bicyclists in order to fund their infrastructure needs? Thoughts anyone???
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  #1011  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2020, 2:38 PM
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Personally I don't find the old tired troupe of trying to separate tax payers in an attempt to further pit people against one another to be interesting at all. I find it futile and exhausting. The fact that car users pay a lot doesn't mean that they pay more proportionally to the costs that they're generating. Obviously there is a huge amount of revenue of all types (consumer spending, taxation, government revenue etc.) associated with car culture because it is so pervasive and because, frankly, it requires a huge amount of money to be spent since it is such a costly form of transportation in every aspect. The fact that streets need to be wider, huge amounts of land need to be devoted to vehicular storage, density is lower requiring everyone to travel greater distances, increased drainage infrastructure is needed to deal with the run off from all the non-permeable surfaces etc. means that all the costs associated with it are difficult to quantify. However, all the attempts I've seen to measures it show that active transportation has by far the lowest fiscal burden so, getting mired in such minutiae is mostly irrelevant and simply leads to unproductive bickering. After all, if we were to increase taxes or other fees, it wouldn't make sense to do so for the sake of the least costly transportation methods if the intention is to find real solutions rather than to sabotage. It's simply a great way to divert the conversation and make it seem as if active transportation is an expensive burden when in reality the reverse is true. It's an inexpensive relief compared to the expensive burden of the status quo.



The more interesting question is what is the best way to allocate the limited revenues that we already have? Since there is very little appetite for increased taxes - especially given the looming economic malaise - so how can we use the funds we have to transport the most people with the fewest negative affects on the environment and the quality of life in our communities?
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  #1012  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2020, 4:06 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
I wonder if there is any way to generate taxation revenue from bicyclists in order to fund their infrastructure needs? Thoughts anyone???
This is an old trope that comes up over and over again in discussions about cyclists. It needs to be sent to the graveyard. The truth is, government already generates taxation revenue from bicyclists: cyclists pay property tax and income tax.

While cars do have some fees directly associated with them (registration, gas tax), those fees do not come close to covering the infrastructure they require; most of it is paid out of general revenue.

In places where they have tried to tax cyclists (license plate schemes, etc.) it quickly becomes clear that the income is mostly offset by the bureaucracy required to collect it. There's no way you can charge anywhere close to the level you charge for a car registration; no one is going to pay $250 to be allowed to ride their $250 bike. So you end up with a system where you're paying staff to issue, track, and enforce on licenses that bring in $25 each. The net result is barely any revenue, on top of a disincentive for cycling (which has societal benefits in terms of fitness and lowered pollution).
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  #1013  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2020, 7:58 PM
Summerville Summerville is online now
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Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
This is an old trope that comes up over and over again in discussions about cyclists. It needs to be sent to the graveyard. The truth is, government already generates taxation revenue from bicyclists: cyclists pay property tax and income tax.

While cars do have some fees directly associated with them (registration, gas tax), those fees do not come close to covering the infrastructure they require; most of it is paid out of general revenue.

In places where they have tried to tax cyclists (license plate schemes, etc.) it quickly becomes clear that the income is mostly offset by the bureaucracy required to collect it. There's no way you can charge anywhere close to the level you charge for a car registration; no one is going to pay $250 to be allowed to ride their $250 bike. So you end up with a system where you're paying staff to issue, track, and enforce on licenses that bring in $25 each. The net result is barely any revenue, on top of a disincentive for cycling (which has societal benefits in terms of fitness and lowered pollution).
Agreed. I recall hearing that the majority of municipal revenue is generated from property tax. Fuel tax and HST probably doesn't directly contribute as much to municipal coffers.

This line of argument would suggest that people that don't own property should not be allowed to have input into how public funds are spent. It doesn't work like that. I pay property tax, but I don't think that any voices should be excluded from the discussion.

Another item which many critics seem to miss is that a huge portion of the current funding for cycling infrastructure is federal money which is specifically targeted for this infrastructure. It can't be re-purposed.
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  #1014  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 1:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Summerville View Post
Agreed. I recall hearing that the majority of municipal revenue is generated from property tax. Fuel tax and HST probably doesn't directly contribute as much to municipal coffers.

This line of argument would suggest that people that don't own property should not be allowed to have input into how public funds are spent. It doesn't work like that. I pay property tax, but I don't think that any voices should be excluded from the discussion.

Another item which many critics seem to miss is that a huge portion of the current funding for cycling infrastructure is federal money which is specifically targeted for this infrastructure. It can't be re-purposed.
I might be misunderstanding you, but there are very few people that don't pay property tax, even if indirectly. Renters don't get a property tax bill, but that cost is being paid by them through the landlord. Even students living in residence at the universities pay it indirectly through the cash-in-lieu that the university pays to the city.
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  #1015  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 10:58 AM
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When discussing cycling, the first thing to keep in mind is that any "data" produced by a pro-cycling/municipal planning organization is going to be wrong, be it dealing with costs, usage, whatever. They are like the weed advocates who claim that substance is a harmless cure-all. All that needs to be dismissed because you cannot take any of it at face value as being accurate.

The odd thing about cycling advocates, though, is the self-righteous and sanctimonious mindset they all seem to have. The attitude is pretty much universal, it seems, that they are all doing the rest of us lazy bums a favor by cycling and that therefore they should be exempt from not only the same rules but also from any taxes that the rest of us pay for the privilege of using road infrastructure. And not only that, but that we should pay for the separate infrastructure they demand despite very little actual need for it as based on usage statistics. It is quite remarkable, unlike most any other group I can think of. I think the bike lane on the Macdonald Bridge should be renamed as the David Dingwall Bike Path, because they certainly feel entitled to their entitlements.

The argument that they already pay their fair share is also specious. Unlike motorists, a large percentage of cyclists are neither property owners, renters, or income-earners. They are living with family, going to school or working part-time, and not paying a significant amount of taxes if any at all. Those that have moved up the ladder and actually have their own place and a job are usually in the beginning of their work life and hence still not contributing significantly, and in fact often turn to cycling as a way to avoid paying for a vehicle, fuel taxes and road fees. The group remaining that is actually contributing financially typically use cycling mostly for recreational purposes and not for commuting or non-work transportation.

To me the most baffling thing is how cyclists get a free pass from registration, insurance and usage fees for certain roads and bridges. The two cyclists I saw just last evening, riding side by side up the literal middle of the street (which meant one of them was in the oncoming lane), with no lights on their conveyances to allow others using the street to see them, and no helmets on either as the law requires, seem to typify the mindset. If they ran into the side of a parked car and damaged it, sorry, not their problem. If a driver coming the other way did not see them and a tragic incident occurred, the activists would be decrying the reckless behavior of the motorist despite the cyclist being the architect of their own misfortune. To ardent cyclists, the rules just don't apply to them. Yet this behavior is being encouraged via our current planning nabobs and municipal pols. It is a mystifying double standard. A big part of the reason that licensing and registration of cyclists has traditionally not paid for itself is attributable to many of them simply ignoring these regimes and riding unlicensed bikes, and the relatively small number of those that do comply being so tiny that the fixed costs of such a regimes cannot be distributed over a large body of applicants, unlike motor vehicles. I suspect that vehicle registration regimes in the early 1900s probably did not cover their costs either.
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  #1016  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 1:12 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Unlike motorists, a large percentage of cyclists are neither property owners, renters, or income-earners.
Woooo boy, that has got to be the biggest *CITATION NEEDED* I have ever seen on these forums. For someone who avoids bicycles like the plague, you sure know a whole lot about who bicycle users are.
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  #1017  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 1:15 PM
Summerville Summerville is online now
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Originally Posted by j.graham View Post
I might be misunderstanding you, but there are very few people that don't pay property tax, even if indirectly. Renters don't get a property tax bill, but that cost is being paid by them through the landlord. Even students living in residence at the universities pay it indirectly through the cash-in-lieu that the university pays to the city.
Sorry, I meant that it doesn't matter who pays into municipal coffers. Infrastructure spending should benefit all segments of the population.
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  #1018  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 1:21 PM
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Woooo boy, that has got to be the biggest *CITATION NEEDED* I have ever seen on these forums. For someone who avoids bicycles like the plague, you sure know a whole lot about who bicycle users are.

Its true! My kids are loafers. My 12 year old won't stop playing video games.

But the other cyclists I know are generally the main bread-winners in their households.
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  #1019  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 1:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
The earliest bikes - the penny farthing - are as different in their basic design from modern bikes as the earliest cars are to modern cars. But what should be obvious is that getting side-tracked discussing such nonsense is a waste of time. We often hear that the hecklers simply have different policy positions or want to advocate for prudence with taxpayer dollars. In reality, there are some who simply dislike people who have a particular cultural difference and want to see them excluded and subjugated. For them, no amount of reasoning, information, or patience will quell their animosity. You have to be able to tell the difference between people with whom you can engage with in a good faith exchange of ideas, as opposed to those whose "concerns" are simply an expression of contempt for others. For the former, if you address their objections with reasonable, rational explanations or solutions they're satisfied. For the latter, nothing will change their minds and you're simply allowing them to dominate the course of the discussion.
Well stated and very true!
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  #1020  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2020, 1:42 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
The two cyclists I saw just last evening, riding side by side up the literal middle of the street (which meant one of them was in the oncoming lane), with no lights on their conveyances to allow others using the street to see them, and no helmets on either as the law requires, seem to typify the mindset.
Just yesterday evening I was cross Novalea at Stanley, at a marked crosswalk, and a driver in a huge Dodge Ram was roaring down the street at probably 70 or 80 km. He didn't appear to so much as touch his brakes, fcing me to literally run to clear the sidewalk. If I hadn't darted out of the way, the massive front grille of his vehicle would have killed me.

So yeah, those cyclists, weaving around foolishly, are pretty annoying. But the consequences of poor vehicle handling/driving/cycling are orders of magnitude different when talking about driving vs. cycling.
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