"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.
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:41 PM EST2014-03-07 04:41:04 GMT
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring. In August Michael Jacques struck a deal with federal prosecutors. He gave up his right to an appeal and pleadedMore >>
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-03-07 04:40:13 GMT
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb. The Burlington School District voted Thursday night on half of the multi-million dollar deal.More >>
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:53 PM EST2014-03-07 00:53:09 GMT
'Tis the season-- as winter winds down frost heaves and potholes arrive. The ups and downs of the 2014 winter can be seen and felt. No route or road is spared. And just adding to the frustration-- theMore >>
The deep freeze is making for some rough roads across our region and it's also contributing to a fuel shortage. Shelby Cashman has more.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:56 PM EST2014-03-07 00:56:36 GMT
The pothole problem knows no boundaries. Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads. The Quebec Transportation Ministry budgeted $260 million for winter road maintenance. But crews haveMore >>
Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:23 PM EST2014-03-06 21:23:33 GMT
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system. The fire last month damaged a row of townhouses. All of theMore >>
Investigators now say a fire that damaged a student housing complex at St. Michael's College was not caused by the building's heating system.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 4:50 PM EST2014-03-06 21:50:24 GMT
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car. The incident happened Wednesday at the Intersection of 1-91 and Route 302 in Newbury, Vt. Vermont state police sayMore >>
Vermont police say a New Hampshire woman was driving drunk with two kids in her car.More >>