Pay to Play? No f’ing way!

It was just brought to our attention that some of our political leaders believe folks riding bikes in Vermont should have to pay for the privilege to pilot them on our roadways (see the WCAX article here).

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

“I think they’ve had a free-ride for quite a while and it’s time that they need to be part of this,” said Sen. Norm McAllister, R-Franklin County.

To which we reply, ride free or die! Sen. Norm McAllister, you sir are a boob! There is a slim chance you own a bike and if you do we wager it’s a circa 1998 Trek sport-comfort with an oversized gel saddle collecting dust in your shed. You are obviously out of your element!

In a nutshell Mr McAllister is suggesting that those willing to brave the roadsides should have to register their bikes much like the current system required of automobile drivers. For a $20 fee tags would be issued and bikes would have cute little license plates just like cars. McAllister argues that bikes with license plates would help retrieve stolen bikes and make riders feel more obliged to obey traffic laws.

Really? And when a thief steals a bike and removes the plate, well, then what? As for obeying the laws, does the average car driver follow the rules of the road because their vehicle is adorned with a plate? Any time I have been pulled over the blue lights were flashing long before my plate was under scrutiny.

Hmmm? What else is wrong with this idea? How about the fact that this program creates a disincentive for riding a bike? Vermont prides itself on being a healthy State, why would we ever want to discourage an exploit as righteous as pedaling a bike?

So, long story short, we here at MTBVT will personally spearhead the civil disobedience campaign if a law like this ever comes to fruition.

The measure is currently on the desk of the Transportation Committee. If you have an opinion make sure to let your local Rep know that you think this is ridiculous.


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  1. says: Brian

    I couldn’t be shaking my head any harder at this…I’m really dumbfounded that people actually think this is a good idea. I don’t have the time to rant on it anymore, but sheesh…it’s absurd! I thought Vermont was smarter than this.

  2. says: Justin

    So what about out of state riders? I grew up in Vermont and I go home and ride a lot. Would I be in danger of getting asked for my registration when I cross the bridge into VT? I saw a suggestion that the riders should be paid $20 by the state instead of the other way around. A stupid license plate isn’t going to deter a driver from being any less of a prick to a cyclist. Get your head out of your ass McAllister.

  3. says: Hank

    Good luck! These are the same people whom hate bikers. WHo narrowed Randolph and Stagcoach Rd in Lamoille County making it less safe for cyclist. Cyclist come here from all over New England to ride and the road conditions are crap in Lamoille County. I could see why they are trying create revenue but maybe they should start at the Highway departments themselves when there is NO SNOW you still get paid 40 hours instead of driving the vehicles around playing and dumping SALT unnecessarily when 1/100″ of an inch falls. This is killing our water tables trees and unnecessary fuel burning. When it snows they work and then can get the overtime if needed. They should just increase fuel tax instead of bothering us CYCLIST in tight cloths trying to be healthy instead of people who think recreating has to be an event requiring the burning of gas. Turn off idle cars and house lights. Ride A Bike!

  4. says: Jake

    Yeah Right. What about all the 2 wheel junkies who saddle a different steed everyday…as if they’re going to swap a silly little license plate back and forth. I love how McAllister is like, “We heard that…” with no response to the mentioning of the administration of the bill costing more than its potential revenue.

    Goddam politicians sticking their noses where they don’t belong.

  5. says: waterburybikepark

    WTH comes up with s@#t like this? Why isn’t the Governemtn not coming up with more ways to encourage riding instead of charging for a healthy travel option?! OMG, this world is more panzy than ever. I feel sorry for my son who has to grow up in this day and age!

  6. says: Chrissy

    If there were some expansive project to have cycling lanes, that would be one thing…but there is barely room on the roads where we visit. Route 100 and 4 near central VT is scenic, and worth the trip for me to drag along a road bike. If you tax me, likely I’ll just stay home and ride on our narrow PA roads. Why bother.
    I thought the “view tax” was ludicrous…now this is beyond absurd!
    Another way to chase away happy visitors, slap a fee and make em’ stand in line in a place they once felt free!

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