Target: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Goal: Forgo plans to ticket and toll cyclists like car drivers
While cycling around the city may be an economically and environmentally sustainable method of transportation, a new plan proposed to Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel would levy hefty tolls at commuters who choose to get around on two wheels instead of four. Tell Mayor Emanuel that this absurd plan will only serve to deter people from opting to bike instead of drive around Chicago, exacerbating the city’s traffic congestion and contributing to already troubling levels of air pollution.
Under the potential plan, cyclists would be required to pay for city bike tolls and vehicle stickers. Cameras installed on stop signs would automatically ticket cyclists who don’t come to a complete stop at intersections, while bikes parked without a sticker would be ticketed like a motor vehicle. Cyclists would also be required by law to have a transponder installed on their bicycle’s handlebars to automatically pay tolls when biking through certain parts of the city.
These new fines and tolls may create a new source of revenue for the city, but they would also seriously discourage potential cyclists from making the switch to a car-free lifestyle. While cyclists do use the same roads as motor vehicles, their bikes do not cause nearly the same wear and damage to the roads as a two-ton car. Cyclists are prohibited from using highways and do not need to use the city’s sparse parking spaces.
If bicycles do not require the same resources as motor vehicles, they shouldn’t be tolled like motor vehicles. Tell Rahm Emanuel to put aside any plans to ticket and toll cyclists out of existence.
Dear Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
A new plan proposed to your administration would smear Chicago’s name as one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. Levying hefty tolls at city residents who opt to bike instead of drive would only deter people from choosing the most environmentally friendly transportation option available.
Bicycles do not wear down the roads in the same way that cars and trucks do, nor do they typically cause serious accidents requiring infrastructural repairs. Cyclists simply do not use the same city resources as drivers. There is no reason to ticket and toll Chicago’s cyclists; doing so would only exacerbate the city’s already severe traffic and pollution problems. I ask that you drop all plans for bicycle tolls and vehicle stickers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Will Vanlue via Flickr.