Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cycling fee

In 2005, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was stuck with a budget shortfall.  He refused DFL entreaties for a general tax increase and instead went with a 75 cents-a-pack hike in cigarettes.  He insisted the increase be called a "health impact fee" so he could maintain his no-tax pledge.  To boost funding for cycling programs I am proposing that we add a new fee, which I am titling the Cyclist Annoyance Fee.  Here's how the program will work:
 
Any time a coworker, friend or acquaintance asks a known cycle commuter "Did you ride your bike to work today?" and the temperature is below 32 degrees Farenheit, a fee of $1 will be assessed to the questioner.  If it is raining, a fee of $2 will be assessed.  Questions asked during a snowstorm or a thunderstorm will be assessed a $3 fee (double if lightning is present).  Questions asked when the temperature is below 0 degrees Farenheit will be assessed a $4 fee.  If the temperature is below 0 and it is snowing, a $5 fee will be assessed.  If the question is asked with a smug "I'll bet you didn't ride." expression on the questioning party's face, the fees will be double.
 
To be fair, bicycle commuters will also be assessed fees.  Any time a bicycle commuter is asked by a coworker, friend or acquaintance "Did you ride your bike to work today?" and the temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Farenheit and the skies are clear, a fee of $1 will be assessed to the cyclist.  If the questioner adds "Looks like a great day to ride." with a wistful/jealous expression on his or her face, the cyclist's fee will be waived.

6 comments:

WheelDancer said...

I think this could go far to support the cycling infrastructure we all depend on. There were days last year that I could have single handedly raised the funds to repave the Greenway as there were a couple folks that asked me almost every day.

Sveden said...

Hilarious. I'd be rich!

Yon Saucy Wench said...

So, did you ride your bike to work today?

Jim Thill said...

All fees will be doubled when the cycle commuter is wearing his/her helmet and sweating profusely.

Doug said...

Based on my personal experience, this tax could easily balance the budget and fund a lot of future programs/projects.

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