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Thread: Tolls for trails

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Tolls for trails

    Speaking today with a friend who is transportation coordinator of an MPO (Metropolitan Planning Org.) in FL about a bike/ped trail constructed adjacent to, and part of, a new expressway. Asked jokingly if they were charging tolls for bicyclists since it was a toll road and he said "Well, I'm trying!". Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Stop the madness. Its is not government staff job to "get whatever they can" under any circumstance.

    Runner, et al should be up in arms on this one. And rightly so.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Around here you may need several passes. There is a state trail pass if you want to ride on one of the state trails. Some cities, such as Madison, have or are considering a permit also, with the funds used to build and maintain trails.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    If tolls are a must, they should be based on wear and tear of the pathway, environmental damage, desirability of the transport choice, etc. A hard surface bicycle pathway designed for commuting should be highly desirable and suffer little damage from bicycle traffic. A toll fixed at one (1) percent of that charged a passenger car sounds about right to me.

    On the other hand a trail used for recreation and of material such as dirt, which would suffer from erosion from use (this has been an issue with many mountain bike trails) could very appropriately charge more for use, closer to that of a motor vehicle.

    Back on the topic of the motor vehicles I would like to see tolls scaled to weight and volume of the vehicle. The driver of a Mini Cooper should not be charged the same as Bubba in the Ford Excursion. The toll could also be scaled to how close a vehicle is to being operated at full passenger capacity.

    As, for congestion pricing of tolls. Let's go baby: Just Do It! It's the right thing to do.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Across the street from my house is the largest inner city park in the country (yes larger than Central Park) complete with mountain bike/horse trails, a creek, jogging paths, etc.

    In order to use the bike and horse trails, you need a permit. $20 a year. You don't have to pay to use the multi-use trail down by the creek no matter what "vehicle" you use.

    The money is uded to maintain the trails, and I'm very supportive of it. Mountain bikes and horses erode the hell out of the trails, and ours are very well maintained despite the thousands of users daily.

    Also, while not directly related, alot of ski resorts, such as Whistler in BC, are creating mountain bike trails on the mountains and selling them just like a ski resort. You pay for the day, buy a lift pass, and ride down. Fun, fun, fun.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    OT but somewhat related

    With respect to trail use and erosion check out

    www.imba.com for construction techniques and standards that minimize erosion.

    www.mbosc.org/impacts/physical.html for a report on cycling impacts on soils.

    Back OT

    Personally, I have no problem paying for the use of trails in provincial or state parks or forests, provided that cyclists are not discrimnated against in terms of the fees. I would probably not even mind paying a road toll if the path is safe, and smooth and I can cruise as fast as i want on it.

    Is there not some requirement in the states now for investment in bike paths as a percentage of road construction budgets?
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  7. #7

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    Many regional parks in the Bay Area have a parking fee for day use. To a certain extent, especially for recreation, I see tolls (or annual passes) being the same thing.

    GKMO-I'm surprised at your reaction. Isn't this really an example of privatization? Shouldn't users pay fees?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    I wouldn't mind paying a toll or fee for use of a trail, park, etc. if I know that the money goes towards the facility's maintainence.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  9. #9
    maudit anglais
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    Well, I don't have a problem with tolls/fees for strictly recreational trails that don't go anywhere, but I think in the case ZG is pointing out (if this guy wasn't joking) involves charging cyclists and pedestrians to use a commuter route.

    That, IMHO, would definitely not be a good thing.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Well, I don't have a problem with tolls/fees for strictly recreational trails that don't go anywhere, but I think in the case ZG is pointing out (if this guy wasn't joking) involves charging cyclists and pedestrians to use a commuter route.

    That, IMHO, would definitely not be a good thing.
    Actually, I think a token (one percent) toll might be a good thing because it might draw extra attention to itself. As the driver of the automobile forks over their $5.00 toll they would look over and see a bicyclist dropping their nickel in the till. It also reminds the bicyclist that they could be paying 100 times as much if they drove their car.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    How about a negative toll? Give each rider a nickle for riding!

  12. #12
    maudit anglais
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    Originally posted by El Guapo
    How about a negative toll? Give each rider a nickle for riding!
    Now that sounds good! Although I like the idea of everybody paying their share, we have enough problems getting more people to walk/cycle that even charging a neglible toll to use a new facility would not work.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    Originally posted by El Guapo
    How about a negative toll? Give each rider a nickle for riding!
    Hmmm, now we could get really creative. What if a motorist showed up with five bicycle commuters? By providing five cyclists the motorist has removed them from their own cars and hence mitigated some damage caused by his own choice of transportation modes. Could then the motorist receive a reduction in his or her own toll?
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
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  14. #14
         
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    tolls on Florida trails

    Good luck,

    As the former bike/ped coordinator for Collier County I can tell you there are a couple major obstacles to doing this.

    This is a huge but fairly accurate generalization when I say that the two big demographic groups of cyclists in Florida are:

    * indigent folks who can't afford a car and (in Naples at least) don't have access to transit. (good luck hitting these folks up)

    * retirees who are anti-tax, anti-fee, anti-government and wouldn't pay a toll if it came with free Viagra (exception: one couple from the Twin Cities who had some familiarity with "bicycle licensing" and thought it a great revenue source)

    Besides that, it's just plain dumb to place a cost disincentive on "doing the right thing" (reference King County Metro's two-zone bus fare for a five-minute bike-on-bus ride across Lake Washington on the 520 bridge into Seattle; no designated path and bikes on bridge illegal and suicidal. The state DOT and transit agency should have solved this one long ago.)

  15. #15
    why dont you cover the cost to maintain the bikeway by increasing the tolls for the four wheeled commuters. That would go over well.....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian SideshowBob's avatar
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    To bring a thread back from the dead...

    Do any recreation (/transportation) pathways in the US offer "optional" payment. Perhaps some sort of "parking-meter-like" box that would enable people, if they so choose, to donate--with the understanding that the $ would go toward maintanence of that trail.

    Just curious.
    Fighting congestion by widening roads is like fighting obesity by buying larger clothes.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally posted by SideshowBob View post
    To bring a thread back from the dead...

    Do any recreation (/transportation) pathways in the US offer "optional" payment. Perhaps some sort of "parking-meter-like" box that would enable people, if they so choose, to donate--with the understanding that the $ would go toward maintanence of that trail.

    Just curious.
    I don't think donation boxes in parks are that uncommon. I have never seen any marketed as optional tolls for bikes, though.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    So in case the car fumes weren't enough to discourage everybody from using the path, they wanted to put in a toll to make it a certainty??

    Any word on whether this ended up happening back in ought three?

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