I received the following email this morning from BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey, and think it’s important enough that I’m reposting it in it’s entirety.
In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote his essay: A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public.
Tonight in Los Angeles 282 years later, the Northridge West Neighborhood Council is considering a “modest” proposal of its own:
13v. Motion: NWNC Requests LA City to Encourage Bicycle Violator Citations and Reinstitute Bicycle Licensing (Bicycle license fees must be at least $150 per year to reflect their shared responsibility for the cost of maintaining the roads and their safe use).
$150 cost per bicycle to maintain roads? Really? How many potholes have bicycles created? None.
Although they are confusing licensing (a person) with registration (a vehicle/bicycle), this is clearly an anti-bicycle proposal. In fact, many motor vehicles on the road today are not charged fees this high!
Help defeat this outrageous proposal by attending and speaking up at tonight’s meeting:Northridge West Neighborhood Council Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM Beckford Elementary School
19130 Tulsa Street, Northridge, CA 91326
This item is 13v; the full agenda may be viewed at: http://www.northridgewest.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/NWNC-April-2011-Agenda.pdf
If you are unable to attend tonight’s meeting, please consider sending an email IN YOUR OWN WORDS to the NWNC board expressing how you feel about this “modest” proposal: [email protected]
Thank you for your support of bicycling….and bicyclists…..in Los Angeles.Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair Bicycle Advisory Committee City of Los Angeles
Of course, this proposal is outrageous, and clearly not intended to regulate cycling, but to force the overwhelming majority of riders off the road.
At $150 dollars, it’s significantly more than I pay to license may car — which actually does cause damage to the road, as well as contributing to traffic congestion and air pollution. And, unlike my bike, poses significant risk to other people if I operate it carelessly.
A careless driver is a danger to everyone around him, while even the most reckless cyclist is primarily a danger to him or her self.
As for that well worn out and blatantly false claim that cyclists don’t pay our share of the road, the fact is that it’s drivers who don’t pay their full share for the roads they use. And all taxpayers — you, me and everyone you see on the road today, in or out of cars — make up the difference.
How about a counter motion requesting a$150 rebate for everyone who agrees to ride a bike instead of contributing to L.A.’s massive gridlock?
Because we’re not the ones slowing down traffic, clogging the streets and damaging the roads. Take every bike in Los Angeles off the roads, and traffic wouldn’t improve at all. But remove just a fraction of the motor vehicles, and traffic improves instantly, as anyone who has ever driven on even a modestly observed legal or religious holiday has already seen.
I won’t be at that meeting tonight.
But I won’t leave the house today until I’ve emailed the Northridge West Neighborhood Council to express my disgust and anger at this outrageously punitive motion.
And I hope you will join me in flooding their inbox with emails demanding fair treatment for cyclists, and recognition that it’s driver, not bike riders, that cause the problems.