Victoria Police Chief and support for cyclists

Victoria Police's Chief Commissioner, Key Lay, has cut through a frequently used counter argument by motorists that cyclists don't pay for the roads they ride on.  As reported in The Age today, Ken Lay quashes the motorists supercilious argument by stating "Our roads are paid for by our taxes and rates".  In reality he's pointing out the bleeding obvious, however finally we have some real leadership.

This is leadership that ought to be applauded far and wide given the confusion which appears to be prevalent amongst Melbourne's motorist majority.

Roads pre-date the existence of the automobile and public purse money was used to build the original road and street networks.  The only thing that has changed markedly since is the increase in revenue raised from vehicle registration.

Only the most blinkered motorist would believe the revenue raised through private passenger vehicle registration in Victoria would pay for all operational expenditure and capital expenditure on roads.  The PTUA has a good write up on this very topic.

How many times have you heard a politician lump the word "road" into the same sentence as "investing in transport infrastructure"?  They do it all the time.  They also, frustratingly, only seem to focus on "rail" as the Public Transport mode worthy of investment as well.

This road versus rail mindset is what many politicians like to avoid because they believe "balance" is the right way forward for transport investment, yet none of them - not at least from what I can remember - have ever truly espoused the benefits of truly balancing the way we use the largest amount of public space in our cities: the roads.

Our roads are overused by single occupant private vehicles - for reasons that have been discussed ad nauseam both on UM and elsewhere - however it's the guerilla "get-off-my-road-cyclist" public attitude which some of these motorists have that needs to be addressed.

Ken Lay, thank you.

See the original Age article and video here.

Lead image credit: Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0