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03/09/2009: "Registration Row in Oregon"
In a classic example of blind befuddlement, three Republican and one Democratic members of Oregon's House of Representatives have offered a bill requiring cyclists to register their bikes under the pretense of giving some of the proceeds towards bike infrastructure. however, it looks like the idea is to contract the process out to a private party, who would skim off one-third of the take.

This is stupid. Bicycle "infrastructure" usually consists of paint stripes. Furthermore, bicycles can and do use the present roads just fine, but, unlike cars they don't wear them out and require expensive repairs. Nor do they require the massive paving for lanes and parking that cars need. Why tax something that takes a burden off the state, while subsidizing the incessant need of car drivers for dressed-up welfare?

(And if you somehow are ignorant enough to believe that driving isn't subsidized, read what good ol' conservative Texas' DOT has to say about that in Do Roads Pay for Themselves?) (quoted in full in CommuteOrlando).

Read all about it on the Bikeportland blog. I weighed in with a comment, of course, but my favorite was number 167, by Lenny Anderson, who said:
Bike registration is fine...but the state should pay the bike owner, not the other way around. $54 every two year is cheap price to pay for less congestion, better air and water, fewer green house gases and healthier people. Bike lanes are just fat fog lines on most state roads anyway.
Limit to one bike per person. A family of four could register four bikes and receive $216 every two years. It would encourage children to ride their bikes to school...50 cents a week or so, could reduce the number of teenage car drivers, the most dangerous to themselves and others. Biking pays.
Incenting desired behaviors that have wide public benefit is nothing new.
Will we ever start making sense in this country?

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