I am writing in response to Cheryl Szymanski's letter "Cyclists and Roads." Ms. Szymanski states that bicyclists have no right to the road. While I understand that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, the laws of the commonwealth say otherwise. Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes outlines the rights of and regulations over bicycle traffic on public roadways.
The second and more insidious assertion is that bicyclists pay no taxes. That is a false statement. I pay every bit as much tax as any other native of this commonwealth, as do the vast majority of my cycling friends. For one, I have a car and have paid every tax, including the gas tax, for the use of the roadway infrastructure. While it is fair to say that cyclists do not pay the gas tax for the miles cycled, a bike puts far less strain on the roadway than any car. Most motor vehicles weigh well over a ton, not including passengers and freight. A fully laden bicycle weighs a small fraction of that and therefore inflicts far less wear and tear upon the roadway infrastructure.
There is also the lower environmental impact of a bicycle. Most cyclists also have a driver's license for which they have paid the required fees. Perhaps there could be a separate license for bikes, as there is for motorcycles. I would pay it willingly, but how much should my 6-year-old pay to ride around the neighborhood?
First Published June 18, 2013 12:00 AM