In the last several years, Chicago has seen an explosion in the number of bike lanes created and opened. The lanes clearly demarcate sections of the roads for cycling downtown and in the neighborhoods. This is a wonderful initiative that encourages health and fitness, and may reduce the number of cars on the crowded streets of Chicago.
Like everything in life, the bike lanes came at a cost. It should have been the users—cyclists—who paid since they are the main beneficiaries of the service. They didn’t pay because Chicago does not have a bicycle registration tax.
The cities of Honolulu and Colorado Springs have successfully collected bicycle registration fees and used revenues for bicycle infrastructure improvements. I would create a bicycle registration fee program to pay for improvements to bike lanes.
From a 39th Ward Forum, from one of the candidates for Alderman of the 39th Ward:
Casey Smagala: The conversation around public transportation isn’t politics to me, it’s personal. I have never owned a car while I’ve lived in the city of Chicago. I’m a Brown Line commuter if I’m heading [downtown], and I’m on the Lawrence bus just about every day.
Does she ride bikes?