To the editor:
Awhile back, ODOT put rumble strips along the side of the highway between Mt. Vernon and John Day. While they may be a little cantankerous, they are put there to help motorists in their effort to stay in the proper lane of travel. A safety feature.
A few days ago, ODOT came back and removed the rumble strips and repaved the side of the highway. People say this is being redone to accommodate the bicyclists who have complained that it interferes with their pleasurable riding. I am told that if there is not enough room for rumble strips and a bicycle path that the rumble strip has to go. Now that may or may not be, but, in addressing any contribution to the cyclist’s infrastructure that is being paid out of highway infrastructure funds, it is about time that the following needs to be said.
For a considerable time, cyclists have been receiving various contributions to their infrastructure around the state. Up until now I understand, that these contributions have been paid out of the gas taxes, license fees and permits that have been paid by the motoring public, cars and trucks.
I have nothing against cyclists, it is a great activity, but I remember back when I was about 11 years old, and living in Springfield, I had a bicycle. I also had to have a license on my bicycle. I believe it cost $2. There’s no reason today’s bicyclists can’t do the same. It is said that our highway program is short of funds to maintain and repair our roads and bridges. Licensing bicycles wouldn’t solve this problem, but paying their way would at least contribute to things like bike paths, bike lanes, bike racks, etc.. It would help pay for their infrastructure and it really should happen. How about starting out with $5. I doubt that there is a cyclist in the country who would object to that.