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Friday, March 23 2018 @ 01:18 AM UTC

Bicyclists do help pay for the road, contribute economically

Biking ElsewhereBy Melinda Barnes, Montana Standard

Road safety is something that benefits us all and should not be a polarizing political issue. Period.

One myth is that bicyclists don’t pay for the roads. Local and state road maintenance is primarily funded by user gas taxes, but new infrastructure is primarily funded by federal funds in which less than half of that comes from gas taxes. Property taxes are a key portion of road funds too. Furthermore, it would take 17,059 trips by bicycle to equal the damage caused by an average car. The reality is that 99% of Montana adult bicyclists own vehicles (and many own homes too) meaning 99% of all state residents riding bicycles are paying just as much in taxes as your average motorist and cost a miniscule fraction in damages. Bicycling benefits us all.

Another myth is that bicyclists don’t contribute economically. Visiting bicyclists spend nearly $400 million each year in Montana; 40% more than the average motorized tourist. These are real dollars impacting real Montanans and local businesses every day in communities like Ovando, Libby, Butte, Big Timber, Glasgow, and Red Lodge. Bicycle tourism benefits us all.

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