Always interesting reading headlines from The Other Vancouver, that is, the city of Vancouver, Washington, pop. 164,500. Seems they’re batting around the idea of levying a licensing fee on bicycles as a way to cover the infrastructure costs associated with their in-the-works bike and pedestrian master plan. Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart informally raised the idea last week, suggesting a fee comparable to that of a dog license, which goes for $16 locally. “As a bicyclist, I would pay a licensing fee if I had better trail access… We license our dogs. You license your car. Why wouldn’t you license your bikes?”
Interesting question. Should cyclists pay to get the city they want? Would the fees collected make a viable dent in cycling infrastructure and upkeep costs? Does it make sense to tax those using carbon-neutral transit? Another question: Should a portion of B.C.’s carbon tax be earmarked for cycling infrastructure?
Apparently, this debate isn’t new to the Pacific Northwest. Last spring, the Oregon legislature nixed a proposal to put a $54 tax on bikes (legislation linked here), following opposition from many cyclist groups. Makes me think Vancouver B.C. cyclists wouldn’t favour the idea here, either. Comments?