It’s spring, so inevitably as more and more bicycles hit the pavement, this question seems to come up.
Should we adopt a government bicycle licencing and safety program?
Ottawa has certainly had it’s share of issues. Every year we have unfortunate accidents and death.
Lets face it, it’s not a unique problem. We’ll obviously have some intrinsic issues when we try to manage three or four different modes of transportation in any municipality. As the bicycle is the lightest, smallest and non motorized 2-wheeled variety — problems integrating it into the regular flow of traffic (urban or rural) bring the most challenge. Accidents are often quite unforgiving.
Compounding this issue is the ‘us vs. them‘ mentality that seems to arise every-time this issue is mentioned.
Tons and tons of hyperbole.
Look; lives, safety and traffic flow are all exceptionally important municipal issues.
If it keeps coming up and we keep seeing the same problems arise time and time again, of course it would be worth the discussion.
To be honest, having looked around a little it seems that licencing bicycles in other cities and towns, has rather failed. Regina, Fort Lauderdale, Long Beach, Salt Lake City, Hershey have all had either failing programs or (at best) mixed reviews with current programs.
It certainly isn’t a money maker.
Toronto, Vancouver and Hamilton continue their debates, while Honolulu is quite happy with the results of their program.
Personally, I don’t like tasking Government with more administrative feats. I don’t like what regulation and red-tape do to anything except slow everything down to an expensive halt.
Those who support licensing say it makes all bicyclists accountable, and it’s a fair application.
Those against it say it won’t work, and it’s just weighty red tape that people ignore and the law tends to overlook.
In other words a waste of time.
One argument that will not work and only exacerbate the whole debate are those who like to tell others what to do, and how they should lead their lives. Idealism lacks practicality, and one thing that will never happen in a City who’s borders touch Arnprior, Rockland, and North Grenville…is that everyone will ride bikes and take transit to work.
That will never happen in a city and country as expansive as Ottawa and the rest of our Country.
This is not Europe. We can fit all of Europe in Ontario for heavens sake.
Less than 2% of Ottawa’s work force cycles to work and we need ways to deliver people to their jobs in a timely manner 52 weeks a year. That is the bottom line.
The only option is to share the roadways. And share them with respect. If you are an A-hole, you should be treated as such. Not a cyclist, not a motorcyclist, not a motorist, not a transit taker; nope, just an a-hole.
They should start issuing driving licenses for bicycle drivers. Lunatic from hell came crashing into me. Idiot.— Dee (@MGE_Dee) March 10, 2017