To the editor,
Re: City budget doesn’t fit with wishes of taxpayers, Letters, Feb 10.
The letter writer seems to believe that just because cars and dogs have to pay for licencing, whereas bicycles do not, bicycle paths should not be provided. Perhaps this goes for sidewalks as well?
It is a myth that car drivers are subsidizing cyclists (or pedestrians). In the city virtually all of this infrastructure is paid for by taxes and development cost charges, not licencing fees or gas taxes. According to research done by George Paulos, a transportation engineer in Vancouver, for every dollar spent by a cyclist, society pays eight cents. For buses, society’s cost is $1.50. For drivers, society pays $9.20.
Cycling paths are very cheap compared to the roads. The more cities provide and legislate vehicle infrastructure over transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, the higher our taxes and rate of homelessness becomes – to say nothing of how much more we get spread out, isolated, sicker and poorer.
Nanaimo is trying to catch up to other cities where people feel safe getting around by non-vehicle means. We are paying a big price as a result.
Ian Gartshore, Nanaimo
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