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NY Times: Is it OK to kill cyclists?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by 1750, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    Based on how drivers who maim or kill cyclists are punished, you'd have to say 'yes.'

    This is just a little bit chilling: http://nyti.ms/1euFktd

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  2. Mykayel

    Mykayel New Member

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    Shocking yes, but a very well written article that points out both sides of the issue very well. I love cycling, but I also 'hate' the typical cyclist who thinks they own the road and disobeys all traffic laws. If you are going to use the road then obey the rules of the road. You can't demand respect, but only earn it. Until the cycling community accepts that, its pointless and SUV vs biker will always end in the same outcome with the SUV on top (literally). And if the jury thinks its the typical cyclists who was just disobeying the rules of the road, then of course they are going to side with the killer. And while not mentioned in the article, its only getting more dangerous for cyclists with the heavy cell phone/texting that goes on while driving.
    1750 likes this.
  3. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    not just cyclists but pedestrians too. in NYC it is rare that a driver that injures or kills a pedestrian is charged. just stay at the scene of the accident and tell the cops it was "an accident". just recently a cab driver who was enraged jumped the curb, ran over a tourist, severing one of her legs, and now he has his drivers license back and is driving his cab again.

    it is a car culture to the max.
  4. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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  5. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    I gave up bike commuting years ago after a friend had a major accident that resulted in permanent disability. That was even before smartphones and texting. If it were safe I would bike to work 3-4 days a week, but there are enough local fatal accidents that I'll never do it. Sad, really.
  6. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    Yep, that is sad. But I understand the inclination.

    When you see what some of the people do behind the wheel it makes you reconsider the pain-gain ratio.
  7. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    The "Share the Road" thing would be nice. I've often said I want a bumper sticker that says "Share the Road" but has a car on it instead of a bike.

    Also bikers don't pay road taxes, and if they want all the "roads made for cyclists" then we polluting rich people should not have to pay for it. They would need to pay some kind of tax based on their mileage or a flat fee yearly to "improve roads for cyclists".

    Sorry to be like that, but it they want fair, they have to play fair too. BTW, I do bike a fair amount.

    TS
  8. sesmith

    sesmith Member

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    Gotta love it!

    I pay federal income tax. I pay state income tax. I pay property taxes on 2 properties. I pay sales tax. I pay registration taxes and fees for 2 vehicles and a sailboat. All the cyclists I know also pay taxes. I just happen to like to ride my bike to work instead of take my vehicle most days. I don't feel I should have to ride on unsafe roads due to potholes, glass, and unsafe drivers, because I pay for those roads like everyone else. BTW, I also follow the road rules when I'm riding my bike, as I feel it's my responsibility to ride at least as safe as I drive my car.

    2 cents of an overtaxed cyclist.
  9. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    + 1
  10. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I pay all of those taxes too, as well as 50+ cents/gallon of gasoline which is supposed to maintain the roads. That's all I'm saying. I guess I'm hard-nosed because of all the bickering I put up with about budget cuts, and a group that wants more to be spent who does not actually pay the tax that is supposed to support the road system.

    This said, I'll wager we (American Citizens) pay around the 50% mark for taxes when we add up all of the taxes you listed. Property, sales, excise, fuel, income, state, etc. taxes and figure our gross income I'll bet for most it's over 50%.

    TS
  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, BoilerMan, what about electric cars? They use the roads but buy no gas, thus pay no gas tax...what should we do about that?
    1750 likes this.
  12. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I did the math for my family and even assuming very generous estimates for things like sales tax we are just at 35% (including social security). 2 income household, 2 kids, probably upper middle class, no fancy tax deductions.

    If you want to tax the group that really puts a toll on our roads then get the money from truckers. They are the ones who are wearing our roads down. If we all rode bikes we would need to spend a fraction of the money on road maintenance that we are doing now.
    http://facweb.knowlton.ohio-state.edu/pviton/courses2/crp776/776-roads-handout.pdf
    1750 likes this.
  13. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    that question was asked in Va but when the state wanted to add a tax on the electrics so they would pay their share of the cost of road maintenance supporters were accused of being in bed with big oil. the ones who were crying foul the loudest were the ones who drive electrics who of course wanted a higher gas tax to pay for the roads they would be driving on instead of this tax on their vehicles.

    so in essence they wanted gas drivers to pay more in order to cover their share of the cost while not having to pay themselves, all this while hiding behind the guise of being environmentally responsible
    BoilerMan likes this.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's a fine line. We need to incentivize getting off fossil fuels. Electric cars are part of that transition but currently only make up a tiny fraction of a percent of cars on the road. A more equitable tax might be to tax everyone for road use, but tax the guzzlers the heaviest and the most efficient vehicles the lowest amount.
  15. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    incentives are fine, so folks can get a tax break for buying an electric vehicle, but then they are lobbying to raise the cost on gas to subsidize their use of the roads? what happens when a larger percentage is running on electric? raise the gas tax even higher? FWIW if i could afford to get an electric to drive locally i'd probably consider it, as it stands ive traded our chevy blazer for a kia soul getting twice the gas mileage OTOH i also have a silverado but i cant haul a ton of pellets or a couple woodstoves in an electric car can i?

    besides, an electric vehicle will bring about just as much (or little) wear to a road surface as a gas vehicle of the same type, granted a gas tax is "progressive" in the extent that it does tax the heavier fuel users more than light ones, but in its intent, its a tax used to pay for road upkeep, not social engineering. its not meant to be a "sin tax" merely a "user tax" for upkeep of the public road system. its the equivalent of a toll road that only charges tolls to gas cars and just waves the electrics by for free. both drivers get the same access to public roads but only one pays, what if they doubled the toll on gas vehicles to make up for the lost revenues on waving electric cars by with no toll? is that fair in the sense that the toll is used to keep the road paved properly?
  16. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Maybe someone can find the article. A few years ago in southern Maine, a man was caught burning bio-diesel (oh the irony) in his vehicle. He was fined some exorbitant sum for not paying road tax while driving on a public road. Personally I think it was to make an example for others who do this. No dye in bio mind you, I think the smell of French fries got him caught.

    TS
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I was actually thinking of something like an excise tax, not a gasoline tax. That is already progressive based on consumption. Not following the toll stuff. Do electric cars not have to pay tolls in VA? They certainly do in WA.
  18. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    was a "what if" would be comparable though. were that to be the case it wouldn't exactly be fair would it? its fictitious but accurate in my mind were it to be true
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  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    WA state like VA is levying a green car tax. Only WA is charging $36 more :mad:.
  20. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    well, figure that against the amount of cumulative taxes you would otherwise be paying at the pump, you're still coming out ahead.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Except that we already have a vehicle excise tax on top of this and some of the highest pump prices in the nation which I already pay for my truck and van. Kind of ridiculous considering our electric vehicle rarely goes on any state highway. 90% of our driving with it is local so far.

    PS: Just heard they want to tack on another 11cents per gallon to the price of gas here.
  22. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    im in the same boat in a way, in order to avoid paying for a lot of gas i would need to buy a third vehicle to drive the 50 or so miles i drive a week in my truck, its just not cost effective even with the gas prices (and the 3 to 4 MPG dropoff im getting since they put another 5% ethanol in the gas) i have to dump a can of seafoam in the tank every few tankfuls or it really falls off.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    When I was back east I was amazed at the low gas prices. I filled up the rental car at $2.96/gal. in Myrtle Beach, SC. Just paid $3.59/gal to fill up here today.

    But this has nothing at all to do with bikes and drivers! Back to the OP.
  24. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Gasoline taxes funding road maintenance is a "marketing slogan". The same as "taxes funding ... (insert government spending of your choice here)". Should that not become clear when you look at your discussion?
  25. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    was actually a bit low here for a few weeks first time i saw a 2 in several years, its back up above 3.10 here now, still lower than the national average.

    as for bikers we're rural so they are few and far between. most pof the time they tend to be respectful of cars that i see, maybe they intend to continue to live.

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