Letter to the editor: Bicycle alliance favors Proposition 1

OPINION — The volunteer board of the nonprofit Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance has taken a close look at Proposition 1 and feels strongly that the public needs to study this issue and not reject this based solely on a “no new taxes” attitude. We feel that our local quality of life depends on the passage of this new transportation tax.

The Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance is the nonprofit advocacy organization in Washington County for all cyclists. As a result of our role observing and participating in most local transportation planning meetings, we have an up-close view of these issues … from road resurfacing and future traffic signal needs to new road projects to accommodate our growth. While our interest is representing the needs of cyclists, most of us are also motorists and we are concerned about the lack of funds for local transportation projects.

It is the opinion of SUBA that Proposition 1 should be passed.

We also trust our local transportation planners, engineers, and public works directors. They are smart people and would be conservative stewards of the proceeds of this small sales tax increase, which would help preserve our quality of life.

While no one likes taxes, this one is a small one, basic necessities like food are exempt and visitors pay much of the tax. We are confident that traffic delays, poorer road surfaces and congested roads are in our future without these additional funds.

We urge you to get the facts and consider voting Yes on Proposition 1.

Submitted by Craig Shanklin, president of Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance, St. George

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10 Comments

  • hiker75 October 25, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Didn’t Utah just pass a per gallon tax increase on gas last year? I think that is enough.

  • ibeducks October 25, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I have a better idea. Why don’t they make cyclists obtain a road license?( I have to get a license to be on the road! At the same time, they can make them take a safety course.

  • outsider_100@hotmail.com October 25, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Good advice to read the Proposition in detail, first.

    I have to wonder how thoroughly the proponents have considered future revenue components, and the future burden of maintenance costs of existing infrastructure, and prioritized improvements.

    The “Brain Trust” that assembled the Lake Powell Pipeline proposal has obviously done taxpayers a disservice for with, or perhaps in some areas fraudulent, projections of cost and revenue. Proposition 1 is not of the same magnitude in dollars, but my concern is the same poor processes were used to develop it…….

  • Brian October 25, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Let me translate: SUBA talked to the powers that be and they promised that we’ll get lots of goodies out of Prop 1, so we think it’s a great idea.

    “We also trust our local transportation planners, engineers, and public works directors. They are smart people and would be conservative stewards…”. That’s funny, because that isn’t exactly their track record, is it? Their track record is to collect taxes for A (which is within the proper role of government) and then spend it on B (which isn’t within the proper role of government), or to go so overboard with A that the reality ends up being nowhere near the proper role of government.

    When they spend the money they’re already given wisely, THEN we’ll give them more. Of course, if they did that they wouldn’t need more, would they?

    Don’t just vote “NO” on Prop 1, vote “#$%^&* NO”!

  • RealMcCoy October 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    “we are concerned about the lack of funds for local transportation projects”

    That right there is where you are being misled.

    There is no “lack of funds”; there IS however, a WRONGFUL ALLOCATION of funds.

    The city decided they needed landscaping in the middle of St. George Boulevard. Then they decided they needed funds to manage and maintain the plant life and vegetation. THEN they decided to do fancy roundabouts with art and MORE vegetation in the center of them. THEN they decided to buy a carousel. THEN they needed to pay staff to run it. THEN they decided to go bigger and build a THEME PARK (the All-Abilities Park is a theme park). THEN they needed MORE staff to run THAT park. THEN they decided they want more money for ‘the essentials’ like taking care of the actual road itself.

    How about if the city stops digging into the taxpayers pocket and paying out for ‘staff’. Guess what- a concrete median on the boulevard has ZERO cost maintenance. A park without a train and water features has ZERO maintenance. A carousel with minimal use can be unplugged and have ZERO costs afterward (or just sell the stupid thing).

    OR!!!

    If the Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance REALLY wants to contribute (instead of just use up) the roads, press the city for a BICYCLE REGISTRATION FEE!
    Yep, I know, it sounds insane to ask the people who use our roads for free to actually pony up some cash.
    A simple bicycle registration fee, and a mandatory bicycle training class, would dump a ton of extra funds into the pet project- I mean the ROADS- fund.

    And don’t give me the “I pay for roads with my car registration” crap. Every vehicle I own has to pay a separate fee; bikes should be included. I pay for my ATV’s same as my car, yet I don’t get to ride on the roads as freely as a bike does.

    It’s time for bicyclists to shut the hell up and pay their dues if they insist on having a voice in the matter.

    • Ron October 26, 2016 at 9:49 am

      RealMcCoy, I agree with your comment 100+%.
      I also have another “waste of money” reality that seems prevalent through out the entire Washington County area.
      That would be the allowance of police vehicles being taken home by officers. Their rational is, A.) that should a emergency arise, the vehicle is “there and ready” to go., B.) The presence of a police vehicle in the community is a deterrent to crime in a neighborhood. Granted, they may have a good point. But when I see an off-duty officer dressed in shorts and t shirt and flip flops, casually shopping at local retail establishment WITH their entire families, then drive away in a taxpayer funded and fueled patrol car, well then that is considered waste of taxpayer funds.
      I recall while residing in Cedar City quite a few years ago, going to the local laundry business to do my laundry and observing a local CCPD patrol car and off duty officer sitting in his patrol car drinking beer while waiting for his laundry to end the dryer cycle. THAT is a total waste of taxpayer funds.
      The Propostion 1 proponents (cyclists) should have to pay a fee to use the roads we drivers have to use also. Many of these cyclists are also some of the rudest people out there. I have seen them go thru a red light and never even stop. I once honked my horn at a couple of cyclists as they went thru a red light and they both just gave me the one finger salute.
      I once came to a 4 way stop (no lights) and had a cyclist just go thru without stopping to allow traffic to continue. I slowly drove up to them and shouted out to them “hey, nice stop”. All they responded with was a “F*&# you. The additional money of this tax won’t do cyclist any good as the road maintenance will not do nothing for the bike lane anyways. Those lanes will always have the obstacles such as rocks, cracks, glass, and any other type of debris they always complain about.

      VOTE NO ON PROP.1. NO MORE GROWTH. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS, (WE HAVE TO)!

      VOTE NO ON PROP.1.

  • r2d2 October 25, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I vote register all bikes. Put a nice little 2″ x 3″ plate on them with a number in the corner.

    • .... October 26, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Yeah and stick one on your forehead !

  • Be Happy October 26, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Well said RealMcCoy.

  • beacon October 28, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    An “active” community is good, but Prop 1 is not the way to go. This shotgun approach under that guise of transportation needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with something better. Cyclists have been getting a very sweet deal over the past many years and perhaps need to back off a bit.

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