Ain’t no road tax in the US, neither

Stud-Honker by Patrick O'Grady

This site is very much focused on the ‘road tax’ situation in the UK but the belief that only motorists pay for roads is a global error. In Australia, motorists complain that cyclists don’t pay ‘rego’; in the US, motorists use the ‘road tax’ canard even though roads are mostly paid for out of property and income taxes, as in the UK.

In the May 1st edition of US trade publication Bicycle Retailer, the columnist/cartoonist Patrick ‘mad dog’ O’Grady wrote about motorists who proffer “bumper taps” to cyclists for not paying for roads. He also drew the cartoon above.

I have his permission to reproduce both the cartoon and the text below.

I have no sympathy for the anonymous Internet insurgents who think the public roads are for motor vehicles only – so much so that they consider assault and murder acceptable responses to being forced to downshift for a second or two while a cyclist dodges a pothole, sand pile or scattering of shattered glass.

These loudmouthed ignoramuses invariably complain that cyclists do not contribute to the cost of building and maintaining roads (we do); that we belong on sidewalks (illegal in most jurisdictions); and that we routinely violate traffic laws (as do motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians). Their arguments boil down to an unwillingness to share that should have been corrected in kindergarten.