Some interesting comments below to the eternal question from Andrew Holtz, a health journalist. Comments were posted on Citiwire, in response to an article by Neal Peirce posted on this site.
"...Many people are unaware of how we actually pay for our roads. Recently, a marketing company in Portland sparked strong public reaction with an ad campaign that asked: Should cyclists pay a road tax? The company’s wrap up report included the conclusion that most people simply don’t know that cyclists already do pay taxes that are used to build and maintain roads. “[T]he amount of misinformation shared throughout this campaign was staggering,” the authors of the report by Webtrends wrote:
Here’s recent summary of the subsidies of motor vehicles:
Analysis Finds Shifting Trends in Highway Funding: User Fees Make Up Decreasing Share
It documents that road users pay less than half the cost of highways. The subsidy for local roads is much higher...Comprehensive economic analyses support the idea that if costs were fairly apportioned, drivers should pay people to use bicycles."