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Stuff We'd Like to See Happen (In no particular order)
Traffic and Urban Congestion Reform:
The ability of motorcycles to take advantage of their narrowness to 'split' or 'filter' through heavy traffic is banned in many states, which results in more congestion than is necessary. (In many areas motorcycles are allowed to use HOV lanes, an encouraging sign of progressive thinking which should be universal.) Lane splitting should be defined as a congestion solution and made legal in all jurisdictions.
One method of encouraging motorcycle commuting would be to allow riders to add a motorcycle to an existing single automobile policy at a lower cost if the bike is to be used as everyday transportation and the insured car is the secondary source of mobility. The need to carry a bike on a separate policy not recognizing the motorcycles' everyday use discourages motorcycle commuting.
Motorcycle Service and Dealership Reform:
The widely held view of bikes as 'toys' encourages predatory market behaviors by many motorcycle service and repair operations, especially in areas involving the cost and quality of common repair and maintenance services. Additionally, only a limited number of new bikes are available for sale that are optimized for everyday use. The number of motorcycles having convenient, integrated load-carrying capability or antitheft alarms (etc...) is astonishingly few.
In 1970, when more motorcycles were more 'universal' in design, 8% of all 20 year old men were riders. Today only 1% are. Ironically, motorcycling itself is more 'endangered' than many popular (and wor-thy) medical and social chari-ties that are supported by rider fundrasing efforts such as toy runs, parades and rides.
Health Care Reform:
Motorcyclists who ride to work regularly are less likely to view their bikes solely as recreational 'toys'... as devices to speed (sportbikes), or drink/socialize (cruisers). Motorcycle commuters also tend to be better and safer than recreational riders due to their everyday riding patterns. Their accident statistics are similar to auto drivers so there should be no basis for discrimination against riders from the viewpoint of healthcare professionals or employee health plans. Such discrimination discourages everyday riding and commuting. Education programs must be developed to reduce the bias against motorcycles by medical professionals and health care providers.
Police Enforcement Reform:
Motorcycles are more nimble than cars and unfairly receive enforcement attention because they can occasionally appear to be doing something illegal or dangerous in the course of ordi-nary point-to-point riding.
Encouraging use of alternative transportation (including motorcycles) in the form of corporate subsidies greatly helps motorcycling in the overall transportation picture. Secure and convenient parking areas for motorcycles are a crucially important factor.
Road Infrastructure Reform:
Because motorcycles are singletrack vehicles, they are sensitive to poorly-maintained road surfaces. Uneven pavement transitions can prove hazardous, as can some popular methods of road repair, such as tar strips and temporary sheetmetal hole coverings. These are overtly more dangerous to twowheeled vehicles, particularly during wet conditions. Traffic controls (stoplights) are often designed so that only a vehicle with the mass of an automobile will trigger them. This is an unfortunate example of motorcycles being marginalized despite being legitimate, licensed taxpaying road users. (Motorcycle compatible sensor systems are available at equivalent cost.) Road infrastructure planning needs to specifically include (and favor) motorcycles.
News Media Reform:
Enlightening the news media with realistic and unhyped facts pertaining to the everyday usage of motorcycles as a form of transportation will help dispel biases that are widely held. Since automobiles became the dominant form of private transportation in the 1920's, motorcycle riding has been largely perceived as being undertaken primarily by risk takers and others living outside of social norms. This public perception has been shaped to no small degree by the commercial news media which tends to 'mine' motorcycling subcultures from a subjective and sensationalizing viewpoint.
Sales Tax Reform:
To reward the many beneficial effects of motorcycling, and to encourage their everyday use, a sales tax exemption on the pur-chase of all new motorcycles should be implemented in all jurisdictions.
Road Salt Use/Studded Tires:
Because motorcycles are more susceptible to problems of weathering and corrosion from exposure to toxic environmental chemicals, less comprehensive and less aggressive (corrosive) methods of road de-icing should be developed. Current bans on studded tires should be lifted (motorcycle use only) to encourage extended seasonal riding. De-icing should be confined to hills, critical intersections and interstate highways.
Wearing helmet-mounted earphones allows motorcyclists to listen to radio broadcasts and communicate with others. Deaf people are unrestricted as drivers and as motorcyclists (and do not have higher accident rates). Legislatures should retract any current laws banning the use of earphones/earplugs while operating a motorcycle.
Motorcycles use less parking space than conventional vehicles and should be rewarded with enhanced parking rights. Motorcycles should receive free parking at all semi-private, airport and municipal ramps. For air traveling motorcyclists, secure long term indoor motorcycle parking areas and gear storage lockers should be available at all 'hub' airports. There should be free parking at all parking meters and in all public ramps (as well as allowing bikes IN all public and private ramps...as opposed to the bans that presently exist in many locales.)
Motorcycle friendly law enforcement personnel training should be developed and implemented to overcome this bias.