Comment 99622

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted April 02, 2014 at 11:27:24 in reply to Comment 99621

The problem with any impediment to cycling - not a cost one, but a tedium one - is that the most significant contributor to cycling safety is the ubiquity of cycling.

That is, the safest place to be a cyclist is any place that has lots of cyclists. Cyclists die when they're a surprise. If drivers expect to see a cyclist around every corner, they deal with them well.

If a casual cyclist must wear a helmet or must pay a licensing fee, he or she won't bother cycling. And that means less cyclists on the road, and that puts less-dissuaded cyclists like you and me at greater risk.

If there was a 10% levy on all new bikes to help pay for cycling infrastructure? Nobody would notice, because it doesn't create any beaurocratic troubles for the cyclist. Well, except for bike salesmen, that might sting for them a bit. But cyclists don't base their decision to buy a new bike based on a 10% difference in cost... it might effect which bike they buy, of course, but not whether they bike. They can happily ignore it. But once you create the tedium of yearly or monthly fees and beaurocracy, nobody will keep a bike for their rare once-a-month excursions that are needed to build a regular cycling habit.

Hardcore cyclists aren't born fully formed, they work their way up to it. Regulations will create a barrier to entry, which creates a problem for everybody.

Even the lights/reflective tape requirements for bikes are a problem. If I buy a car, it's street legal. If I buy a bike, it needs lights/bells/reflective tape, etc. How many casual cyclists do you see with a properly kitted out bike? Not many, right? Is it because they're scofflaws, or just because somebody sold them an incomplete vehicle?

If you focus the fees/regs/etc. at the sales level, then the impediment on trying out a bike is a small amount of money. If you point the fees/regs/etc at consumers, then you've created a large pain-point for a casual cyclist, and that means you won't get a cycling community, and that means the hardcore cyclists are at much greater risk because they're strange unexpected sights on the road.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-04-02 11:30:07

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