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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #16  
Old 21 May 2009
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I am so easily confused. The issue here is the manner of payment (mobile phones are necessary, without which you cannot park)? Or the absence of promised services (secure parking of some sort)? Perhaps an inexplicable failure to allow bikes to use (following proper procedures) parking spaces otherwise available to be used by cars? Or do you really, truly feel that as motorcyclists we add no stress to the infrastructure and systems (roads, traffic lights, law enforcement, emergency services, pollution mitigation, health care.....) and therefore should be able to use these for free?

If the latter, all your righteous outrage will probably not forestall the inevitable. Hey, everyone feels similarly outraged, including drivers of cars and trucks and users of mass transit--and there are more of them, and they're paying extravagantly for similarly inadequate levels of return. And besides, we do have impact....and in certain respects our impact is greater than theirs, and probably more costly.

I'm all in favor of using financial incentives to encourage preferred means of transport. I ride a bike too, in all sorts of weather and in the process assuming all sorts of risk. But when they charge me parking fees to park my bike (which they sure do, here in the land of the free) I figure I'm still well ahead of the game. And, if you can imagine, they don't even let me share parking spaces paid for by unknown car owners, or filter heavy traffic.

But as we all know, YMMV.

enjoy,

Mark

(from warm, sunny Bellingham, Washington, where spring is due to arrive almost any month now, with a brief summer to follow before winter gloom returns)
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  #17  
Old 21 May 2009
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People should pay for 'what they use' - fine.

We just object to leaving it up to Westminster council to decide what that payment should be. 'Yesterday' it was free, today it's not. There are only so many bike bays a council can build so what else are we actually paying for?

Exactly! Now you see why we're upset.
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  #18  
Old 21 May 2009
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Yes, I understand a certain degree of irritation when government changes the rules midstream. But I think it's worth considering that they're (partially or wholly) asking you to begin paying your fair share, as cars are already doing.

The fact that you may not get concrete improvements as a direct result (e.g., secure parking bays) doesn't mean you're not getting anything for your money (for example, police and fire services, roads, bridges, emergency shelters, safety inspections, pollution mitigation....you name it).

Of course, I don't know anything about your specific situation, and I'm not trying to claim that the ways governments spend their tax and fee money is always fair, reasonable or even minimally justifiable. I just find it a bit odd that you're complaining so loudly about having to pay for parking. I pay for parking in many, many places. I don't like it, but I don't find it particularly unfair.

Just another perspective.

Mark
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