The Bicycle Transportation Alliance yesterday unveiled an infographic about where Oregon Department of Transportation revenues come from. The organization's very simple point: cyclists are paying into the system, too.
Predictably, people over at Oregonlive.com went insane, and then I went insane trying to read their mostly dogmatic and unhelpful comments. But even if it was largely blather, all the discussion around the graphic ultimately helped the conversation by alerting the BTA to some missteps.
Today, the organization revamped the graphic with a concession that's sure to make folks who bandy about the words "bike extremist" somehow indignant. The BTA had claimed "user fees" like gas taxes and license fees make up 63 percent of ODOT's revenues. After another look, they say, it's closer to 78 percent.
Here's the new infograph:
The altered figure is relevant because one of the BTA's points—and it's still a valid one—is that everybody helps pay for transportation projects via that other 22 percent of the pie. Plus, the BTA contends, the vast majority of bike riders own cars anyway, and so are kicking in money to the system via license and registration fees, even if they're not guzzling gas (or damaging the roadway) every day .
I'm betting Blogtown can have a responsible and measured discourse about this. Here's a full explanation of the changes.
Also: I don't own a car, I don't pay user fees, and it's great.