2016 Saris Gala Madison, WI

Large fundraiser for the Wisconsin Bike Fed.

Friday, November 4th
Doors open at 7PM
Union South in Madison
Special Guest Olympic Gold Medalist Gwen Jorgensen
Live and silent auctions, free beer, wine and hors d' oeuvres
$80 per ticket for members/ $100 for non-members

Meet famous people, drink beer, talk bikes, bid on items.  Sign up here. 

Yet Another Reason Not to Tax Bicyclists-They Save Everyone Money And Decrease The Chance a Person Will Get Injured or Killed While Driving a Car or Truck

Many people who spend most of their time in cars and trucks claim it is unfair that bicyclists get to use the roads alongside them, and also claim that bicyclists don't pay their fair share like motor vehicle drivers do.

Though some people will tell you that bikes don't belong on the roads with cars, the law says otherwise. See Wis. Stat. 346.02 (4) (a). (a) Subject to the special provisions applicable to bicycles, every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway or shoulder of a highway is granted all the rights and is subject to all the duties which this chapter grants or applies to the operator of a vehicle, except those provisions which by their express terms apply only to motor vehicles or which by their very nature would have no application to bicycles. For purposes of this chapter, provisions which apply to bicycles also apply to motor bicycles, except as otherwise expressly provided.

Saying bikes don't belong on the roads is the same as saying cars don't belong on the road.

Most of the people who say these things don't take the time to look into where the money comes from that pays for roads. For example, in Wisconsin, infrastructure construction and maintenance is paid for thru local property tax, state income/sales taxes, federal income tax, motor vehicle registration,gas tax, and state trails fees.  Unless a bicyclist got their bicycle for free, did not own a home, never bought anything inside the state of Wisconsin, never paid federal income tax, never registered a car,and never purchased gas for anything including a lawnmower, the bicyclist is helping pay for our roads.

What about the argument that since people who drive a lot purchase more gas they are paying more than the person who bikes a lot?  1.  They are paying more for gas than the bicyclist and should consider getting and riding a bike.  Not only will it save money on gas, it will help with health, and could save money on things like cholesterol medications, high blood pressure medications, doctor visits, diabetes treatment, and many others.    A 2016 study published in PLOS Medicine found those who regularly bike are less likely to develop diabetes, particularly in respect to cycling to and from work.  Panter J, Ogilvie D (2016) Cycling and Diabetes Prevention: Practice-Based Evidence for Public Health Action. PLoS Med 13(7): e1002077. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002077

People who drive motor vehicles more pay for more in gas.  If a person drives 100 miles a day, they will spend more on gas than a person driving 10 miles per day.  People who drive more are also contribute to more wear and tear on the roads and increase their risk of getting hurt by another driver or hurting someone in a crash.  People who ride bikes often pay less in gas, but also contribute little to no wear and tear on roadways compared with motor vehicles and also decrease the chance a person in a car getting hurt by them because it is quite hard to injure a motor vehicle driver with a bicycle.

Correlation between people who drive to commute vs. walk or bike and obesity.  Also note the area of the country that has the most drivers also is known as the "diabetes belt."

Additionally, the societal cost of driving (road repair and maintenance, parking, facilities, air pollution etc.) is estimated at between 29  cents per mile while the societal costs of riding a bike are less than one cent per mile.  Another estimate shows biking comutes costs society $0.08 while driving commutes cost society $9.40.  In other words, bike trips save money for society and for Wisconsin taxpayers.  Thus, why would someone like the persons mentioned above want to "tax bikers."  Most likely because they don't understand that the bicyclists are actually saving them money and because they feel bad that they spend a lot of time stuck in traffic getting angry while other people are taking steps to improve their health and reduce their stress.

Don't forget some of the best parts of biking and bicyclists.  The more people who ride bikes, the more parking spots there are for people who want to drive cars and the less traffic on the roads for drivers.  Finally, people who ride bikes are extremely unlikely to injury or kill someone else with their vehicle unlike drivers of motor vehicles.  The next time you see someone riding a bicycle when you are behind the wheel of your car privately thank them for 1. saving you money 2. decreasing the chance you will get killed, 3. decreasing your chance of getting stuck in a traffic jam, and increasing the chance you will find parking for your car or truck when you get to your destination.

                             Image result for fitness healthy body no face

Wisconsin Law Hands Free in Workzones Starting

According to WI DOT, starting October 1, 2016 it is illegal to talk on a handheld phone while driving in a Wisconsin work zone.  See law below.

While its nice to see new laws attempting to protect vulnerable users of the road including highway works, Wisconsin is way behind the times with this law.  California has been hands free for at least five years and bans any phone use by drivers under 18.

When reading the law below it seems as though it will be near impossible to enforce.  It allows appears to allow a driver to activate or deactive a feature on the phone with his or her hands.  

A better law would be that any person seen holding a phone behind the wheel of a car is subject to a $1,000 fine.  Any citizen who provides evidence of a driver holding a phone behind the wheel (photo taken of a driver by a passenger in another car) gets a $500 reward for making our roads safer (out of the $1,000 fine).  This would make drivers afraid to touch their phones behind the wheel because they could be caught at any time and it would cost them $1,000.  It would make us all safer.

An Act to amend 346.95 (1); and to create 346.89 (4m) of the statutes; relating to: the use of a cellular or other wireless telephone while driving a motor vehicle in a construction zone and providing a penalty.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
Section 1. 346.89 (4m) of the statutes is created to read:
346.89 (4m) No person may drive, as defined in s. 343.305 (1) (b), any motor vehicle while using a cellular or other wireless telephone, including using the telephone for a purpose other than communication, where persons engaged in work in a highway maintenance or construction area or in a utility work area are at risk from traffic, except to report an emergency. This subsection does not apply to the use of a voice-operated or hands-free device if the driver of the motor vehicle does not use his or her hands to operate the device, except to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the device.
Section 2. 346.95 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
346.95 (1) Any person violating s. 346.87, 346.88, 346.89 (4), (4m), or (5), 346.90 to 346.92, or 346.94 (1), (9), (10), (11), (12), or (15) may be required to forfeit not less than $20 nor more than $40 for the first offense and not less than $50 nor more than $100 for the 2nd or subsequent conviction within a year.
Section 3. Effective date.
(1) This act takes effect on the first day of the 7th month beginning after publication.