Public funds and bike lanes

Bike lanes on newly built roadways are the current “right thing to do”. To put this in a different perspective, the bike lanes are 3 feet wide. A typical car lane is 12′. So the bike lanes on each side equals about one half of a car lane. On a typical 4 lane road this would increase the amount of construction by 12.5 % as well as the cost. At a point in the not to distant past, a mile of road cost about $1,000,000 (probably a low estimate now).
So, our public money is funding bike lanes at a additional cost of about $125,000 per mile. The ironic part is that these lanes are unused 99.5% of the time. Is this an effect way to use public money?

As an after thought, has anyone else noticed the $40,000000 University Athletic Park on Port road. You know, the one with no activity ever. At least , that was student fees, not public taxpayer dollars.

7 thoughts on “Public funds and bike lanes”

  1. i see what you mean. i do like the idea of bike lanes and separating bike from car traffic. but i have heard bike lanes are terribly expensive. and i have not seen anything to indicate otherwise. your estimate seems reasonable or as you indicate maybe a little low.

  2. I look at it this way — if you have bike lanes everywhere, they’ll be worth it and they’ll be used. (Davis, California is an example.) If you have bike lanes nowhere, the first bike lane is useless. So, how do we get to having useful bike lanes? We have to build some useless ones at first and take a gamble. To be sure, that is a gamble with taxpayers’ money, and I can understand disappointment with that.

  3. i am genuinely curious. think about the number of people who live in bridgewater and work in harrisonburg. suppose we had genuinely great bike lanes from here to there. what percentage of those people would bike to work regularly.

  4. If I were to hazard a guess (which I about to :)), I would say 10 or less people. The buggy lanes between B’water and Dayton get way more use than bike lanes ever will..
    I am not opposed to bike lanes but if tax dollars are used to build the lanes, then the lanes should see significant use, which they don’t. If tax dollars are used to accommodate small special interest groups, when do you draw the line? . Case in point, Dayton spent taxpayer money on a skateboard park…money wasted because the park is gone.

  5. I think bike lanes are a good idea, however they are being subsidized by auto users…. fuel taxes dedicated to raod construction/maintenace. Would bikers be willing to pay additional taxews on bike paraphanalia to help defray some some of the cost?

  6. Probably not….when Va. created road use fees two years ago, electric car owners demanded and were given an exception. Why, because they didn’t use fossil fuels.
    However, the fees were for road maintenance. Type of fuel should not be a consideration, after all, electrical car tires still roll on the pavement and help create potholes..
    So, I don’t think the special interest bikers (what few there are) would be willing to help foot the bill.

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