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Monday, April 23, 2007
By Yokota Fritz

missoula bike lane sign
Originally uploaded by Luton.
Missoula, Montana is college town know for its bicycling infrastructure. I've gotten myself into a pointless debate with somebody who believes that because the gas tax pays for Missoula streets, only people who pay that tax have a right to the roads.

In Missoula and every other place in Montana, the gas tax provides about 10% of the road construction and maintenance budget. Property taxes provide the bulk of road funding in Montana as well as the other U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Besides that, as a matter of public policy access to public facilities should not be based on ability to pay.

For more information, see Whose Roads -- PDF from Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

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Not a pointless debate since it's public. Kevin and his arguments are being effectively debunked. He will continue onward with his distorted opinions but other readers, I suspect, will respond differently.
I'm with suej. Thanks for correcting Kevin. He's a notorious troll whose comments usu. only confuse. I'm glad you're on the record correcting his misstatements. Thanks.

Our police forces are not paid for by gas taxes, but they are stretched to their limits by the irresponsible and anti-social behavior of so many drivers. Imagine if cops could spend their time protecting and serving instead of ticketing.
Happy Trails,
Ron Georg
I haven't read the whole "pointless" debate, but I would argue that the 10% would apply to the damage caused by motor vehicles to the pavement.

Bicycles don't damage pavement. (Unless maybe when they are crushed and dragged under a vehicle?)
I certainly agree that there's a sense of pointlessness about arguing with such people. Regardless of your position or the background information you bring to the discussion, they simply will not hear it.

In the electronics shop, we have an expression that fits: "Facts - however interesting - are irrelevant!" This came about when a supervisor told us to ignore those inconvenient facts that ran contrary to his assertions. He was promoted.
I was here first -- what happened to the right of primacy -- bicycles were on the roads before cars -- therefore they have the right of way.

notice that the right of way is not some priveledge of way.
Hahaha!! What a troll! Dude, you pwn3ed that guy and he doesn't even know. In my (brief) student teaching days, if a student had turned in something as incoherent as those posts, I wouldn't have even graded it, asking that we meet after class to discuss. He isn't even using the concept of formal fallacy correctly since his facts are wrong. Wotta maroon. Way to take the high road, man.
Thanks all. "Kevin" also keeps saying I'm missing the point and then he changes the topic, so I've restated his point and asked him if I understood him correctly. Another poster responded with statements on classic democratic values from the days of the American Revolution and he dismisses them as leftist nonsense.
Source of funds is only marginally relevant to use of funds. Nobody said that since money for roads comes from cars it must be used for cars. If we only used taxes that way how would we pay for education? We give our elected officials the power to spend some of our tax money. It is in the public interest that our government promotes bicycle riding. The government in general feels it is good for the population to ride bikes. Therefore we have spent millions of dollars to build paved trails up the Bitteroot from Lolo, light the Kim Williams trail, put the tunnel under the Russel street bridge, and other projects. We have spent this money even though we do not get significant tax money from bicycles. It is for the public good.
Just like our state and federal parks. The people who pay the most taxes should have more right to use them. So lets be arbitrary and say if you pay taxes on over $150,000 of income you can use Yellowstone Park otherwise not.

Anything taken to an extreme can show stupidity.
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