I agree with the letter writer, Mr. Wyllie from Okanagan Falls, that the costs of improvements to Eastside Road should be shared.
I pay a full year’s insurance for my car, and pay the licence fee, yet I personally drove an average of 3,230 kilometers per year for the past three years. Most of those kilometers are to make at least two trips to Vancouver annually.
If I am paying my property taxes to Penticton to maintain our city roads and paying my ICBC fees, yet I am not using the roads very much, then I am paying more than my share of maintaining the roads we have around Penticton. By Mr. Wyllie’s thinking, I should be able to claim a refund. My. Wyllie is in essence advocating a user fee system, which I actually would agree with, since in the long run, I would be paying less.
Most of my commuting is by bicycle. I also do not know an avid cyclist in town that does not own at least one vehicle. This implies that each cyclist we see on the road already has insurance through ICBC, pays annual licence fees, and if a resident of Penticton, presumably pays property taxes which helps to pay for the maintenance of our roads. I wonder if they could also rate a refund for paying more than their share of the cost of maintaining our roads.
Many of these cyclists tend to be on the healthier side of life, and rarely go to visit their local doctor. I believe I have visited my doctor about once every two years. And I am paying monthly medical fees. But I am rather certain there will be no chance of a refund on medical fees.
I have volunteered over the years to clean up litter along Eastside Road. Each time, the majority of litter is not from cyclists or runners. The majority of litter is cigarette butts, paper containers from Tim Hortons, Starbucks and fast food outlets. Perhaps we as volunteers should be paid from the extra revenue generated by the “user fee” system. Then I again would be paying less.
I also find it interesting that Mr. Wyllie suggests cyclists share the cost for special-interest groups needs. If he is from Okanagan Falls, and frequently using Eastside Road and going into Penticton, then he is gaining from the use of roads financed by property owners of Penticton. I hope he often shops in Penticton to help fund the city’s revenues to help maintain the roads.
And I must say that part of what Mr. Wyllie does not say, is that some of those cyclists must consider “sharing the road” with the cars. Using the road is one thing, obstructing traffic is another matter.
My point is, be careful what you ask for.