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Should cyclists pay road tax?
You may not be aware of a "experiment" that was recently done in Portland, OR, by a company called Webtrends.
Portland-based Webtrends wanted the public to tweet, e-mail, blog, post on Facebook or visit their website to share it. In the process, they would become part of a rapidly evolving social-networking experiment.
Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, vice president of marketing, said the mobile ad campaign had two goals: Show off Webtrends as a local company that employs hundreds in downtown Portland and give people a taste of its marketing-intelligence tools.
"We want to show what we can do and its relevance to the local community," Kaykas-Wolff said. "The core business we're in is not just collecting numbers, but telling the story behind the numbers."
Kaykas-Wolff said Webtrends selected the question now plastered on the MAX train because "biking and taxes are hot topics right now." (MAX trains are part of the Portland mass transit system, similar to our MARTA trains.)
In a few months, the company will spend thousands of dollars covering the same MAX train with the campaign's findings.
For Webtrends, the ways people converse about the topic is just as important as the outcome. The company, after all, specializes, in finding out where people gather online to socialize, get information and do business.
Some cyclists have contacted us, worried that the ad is part of a provocative anti-biking campaign. Not true, Kaykas-Wolff said.
There's no bike-tax agenda. "To be honest, what we care about is the conversation that takes place," he said. "But if that becomes the sentiment, we're open to it."
Well they have released the results of their question. They can be found at http://blogs.webtrends.com/files/2009/11/webtrends_whitepaper-road_tax_r.... In a nutshell, 55.3 percent of those who answered the question were against the idea of cyclists paying a road tax. Among those in favor of cyclists paying a road tax, many cited the cost of bike-only infrastructure.
Now I realize that this forum is biased in regards to being pro-cyclists, but what are your thoughts on the subject? Do you own a car that pays fuel taxes and registration fees? Should cyclists be licensed? Should they be insured? Would you be willing to pay an extra tax if the money went for cycling improvements only?
I would love to hear what the cyclists of Atlanta have to say. Perhaps we can gather some insight to present to our local politicians.
later and keep the wheels spinning..