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Dick Prosence: Cyclists should ante up

The Summit Daily News: Dick Prosence: Cyclists should ante up

I have been riding bicycles for 76 of my 85 years. During those years I’ve ridden hundreds of miles of city streets, county roads, and bike trails including two of the best in Colorado — Glenwood Canyon and Vail Pass, and all that time I’ve been a “freeloader,” since I’ve never contributed one thin dime toward the cost of those biking facilities. I’ve been freeloading like all other bicyclists, depending mostly on highway-user taxes to pay the way.

Now the CDOT Transportation Commission has announced a new policy “to provide transportation infrastructure that accommodates bicycle ... The needs of bicyclists and pedestrians shall be included in the planning, design, and operation of transportation facilities, as a matter of routine”. Freeloaders rejoice!

This is in the midst of perhaps the most dire time in highway funding history.

This new policy resembles the hated “unfunded federal mandate” (added expense to a program, without the addition of more income). What I expect to see are separated bike paths along every rural highway improvement project, when all that is needed is a fairly wide shoulder along which bikers could ride. The shoulder would also benefit the highway user who is footing the bill.

How about if us “freeloaders” supported a 10 percent tax on all new bike sales to pay for the cost of the new “policy” on highway projects?