"I think they've had a free-ride for quite a while and it's time that they need to be part of this," said Sen. Norm McAllister, R-Franklin County.
McAllister represents residents from the Northwest corner of the Green Mountain State. He's proposing a $20 state registration-- similar to a license plate-- for those 18 and older who want to ride bicycles on Vermont roads. He says millions have been poured into widening roads and creating paths for bikers. McAllister says tags would lead riders to adhere to the rules of the road, and help track down stolen bikes. He also sees an opportunity to cash in on Canadian tourists headed south under pedal power.
"It's not a nonstarter, there are many in my camp who would write it off immediately. I have some concerns about, having said that, there are many ways we want to get pedestrians and bicyclists paying their share," said Chapin Spencer of Local Motion.
Spencer points out that all residents pay property taxes which in turn fund local roads. He says informal funding drives successfully fueled repairs to the bike path linking Burlington to the Lake Champlain Islands.
"One of the challenges that this bill over registration of bicycles faces is that the cost to administer the program may likely be larger than the revenue it would take in," Spencer said.
"I kind of heard that, too," McAllister said.
McAllister says he knows his proposal is a work in progress and concedes there's little chance serious discussion gets rolling this year. But he wants to start the debate, in an effort to avoid spinning his wheels down the road.
Senators got a first look at the proposal Tuesday. The measure is currently on the desk of the Transportation Committee.
Friday, April 18 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:24:34 GMT
Vt. State Police say a small plane has crashed on Interstate 89 north in Highgate. A state airport official confirms that a single-engine aerobatic plane was in the vicinity of the Franklin County StateMore >>
The pilot of a small plane parachuted to safety before his aircraft crashed on Interstate 89 north in Highgate Friday afternoon. More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:13:39 GMT
Police have released the name of the young man killed in a motorcycle crash Thursday in Burlington. Police say just after 6 p.m. Thursday, Tyler Benjamin, 24, of Winooski, hit a guardrail on the beltlineMore >>
Police have released the name of the young man killed in a motorcycle crash Thursday on the Burlington beltline.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:02:32 GMT
A sugaring season was cut short in Swanton overnight after a shed caught fire. Fire officials tell us they got the call around 1:30 a.m. Friday for the sugarhouse fire on Woods Hill Road. They say theMore >>
Sugaring season was cut short in Swanton early Friday morning after a shed caught fire. More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 3:38 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:38:06 GMT
A Colchester police officer charged with drunk driving has been disciplined by the town, but the details are not being released. Jeremy Wyskiel, 36, was charged with DUI last month after police say heMore >>
A Colchester police officer charged with drunk driving has been disciplined by the town, but the details are not being released.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:36 PM EDT2014-04-18 16:36:37 GMT
New York lawmakers are engaging the public in the fight against the rise of opiate addiction. The state Senate has created a task force to hear from law enforcement, health care, social service and educationMore >>
New York lawmakers are engaging the public in the fight against the rise of opiate addiction.More >>