Drivers do not pay for all of the cost of the roads through gas taxes and user fees. General taxes, paid by all taxpayers, cover more than half of the cost of building and maintaining the roads.
Most cyclists have heard the rant from an angry driver: “Get off road and out of my way, I paid for the road.”
Federal, state and local governments provided a total of $221 billion in funding for capital expenditures and maintenance in 2012. Highway user revenue accounted for approximately $105 billion, or 48% percent, of the expenditures. That is gas taxes and tolls only covered half. The rest of the cost is paid by everyone, including cyclists.
Let’s talk about space. In the 2014 Modal Equity Study of San Francisco, bike lanes took up only 2.4% of the paved road space in San Francisco. On-street parking took up 15%. The rest was roadways, of which 8.4% are freeways that exclude cars.
The 2013 American Community Survey has bikes as the commuter option for 4.1 % of San Francisco residents and that had risen to 4.3% in 2015.
If you look at the data, cyclists pay for more than their fair share of the roads.
- Who Pays for Roads?
How the “Users Pay” Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America’s Transportation Problems By Frontier Group & U.S. PIRG Education Fund (Spring 2015)
- Funding For Highways And Disposition Of Highway-User Revenues, All Units Of Government, 2012
- Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey
- San Francisco Modal Equity Study October 2014