Today Rep. Judy Clibborn released her draft transportation package (read more from The Seattle Times).
Cascade thanks Rep. Clibborn for getting this conversation started; Washington needs additional transportation investment and her draft proposal includes some investments we support.
However, the package is still a long way from meeting our state’s diverse and most critical transportation priorities.
The package does not sufficiently provide for the basic needs of our communities: maintaining our existing roads, providing options for those who cannot or choose not to drive, and giving everyone safe places to walk and bike. It does, however, dedicate billions of dollars to hugely expensive highway expansions.
The package’s proposed bike excise tax ($25 on sales of bikes costing more than $500) would harm hard-working small business owners. Most such bikes are sold by small family-owned bike shops and this would impose red tape and costs for them while creating virtually no revenue.
People who bicycle already pay substantial taxes for our transportation system, including the sales taxes, property taxes and federal taxes that together cover two-thirds of all transportation spending in Washington. Bicyclists who own cars also pay the same car tabs as everyone else even if they drive less.
Unfortunately, the package almost completely ignores bicycle and pedestrian investments. Given the benefits people on bicycles provide to the rest of the transportation system by taking cars off the road, this is short-sighted.
A more detailed letter about our funding requests is posted at Transportation for Washington.
Cascade Bicycle Club looks forward to working with Rep. Clibborn and other stakeholders to craft a transportation revenue package that works for all of Washington.