Friday, January 25, 2013

Rally in support of favorable cycling laws

Ride Richmond is promoting Bicycle Action Day on Tuesday, January 29. According to the flier posted on the Ride Richmond site, the purpose is to "Petition in support of favorable cycling laws." Riders will gather at 10:30am at the VCU Compass. At 10:45 the group will ride to the Capitol for a rally at 11:00.

On the Action Day page is a list of bicycle-related legislation being proposed this year in Virginia, along with a number of general talking points in support of bicycling.
1. Roads are for people, not just people in cars. The streetplan of Richmond (and Virginia) was well established long before the first automobile appeared here. Most local roads in Richmond predate the arrival of automobiles.

2. Virginia law gives cyclists all the rights of operators of motor vehicles, except on limited access highways. Virginia Code Section 46.2-800 et seq.

3. Cyclists pay more than their share for roads, because virtually all cyclists also own cars and pay gas tax, and also pay general taxes. Contrary to what many seem to assume, our local roads are not fully paid for, (if at all), by car taxes or gasoline taxes. Given the vanishingly small impact of cyclists on road maintenance, one can easily argue that cyclists who ride their bikes instead of driving their cars are subsidizing those who choose only to drive. It’s historical fact that the “Good Roads Movement” which led to widespread paving of roads, was started by cyclists.


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