● Ottawa Citizen editorial pooh-poohs the idea of bicycle licensing.

Bicycle licensing is back in the news these days when a Toronto councillor recently put forward a motion asking his city to consider implementing this requirement for cyclists. This councillor was one of only two who voted against Toronto’s 10-year cycling plan.

One of his main arguments in favour of bicycle licensing is that it will ensure cyclists pay for cycling infrastructure. His logic conveniently ignores the fact the cyclist already pay for this through their property taxes in the same way that city roads and sidewalks are paid for with property taxes.

Sensing that this issue of bicycle licensing might pop up here, the Ottawa Citizen has run an editorial on the matter and comes down solidly against any such proposal. Like Toronto, Ottawa has examined bicycle licensing on several occasions over the years, and rejected the idea as being costly and of no practical value (it was estimated a bicycle licensing system would cost $100,000 a year, and only bring in $40,000).

Apparently, no major Canadian city currently licenses bicycles. Until last year, Regina was doing so, but it scrapped its law because it was being ignored by both cyclists and police.

Update: The proposal to consider bicycle licensing for Toronto died a quick death (again).

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1 Comment on ● Ottawa Citizen editorial pooh-poohs the idea of bicycle licensing.

  1. good to see, the media likes to hype up this sort of stuff… bike licensing won’t do a damn thing but inhibit cycling. Many disadvantaged people use bikes to get from A to B. Others bike daily, taking on the challenge of the extra burden of cycling to/from work… it takes planning, getting up early etc… Others bike to stay healthy and avoid congesting the roads which costs us huge in taxes… that’s the underlying problem. Cyclists are shamed/blamed because its easy to do and because the real problem/addiction is the good ol automobile. We don’t want to admit the real problem – 3000lbs of metal and pure laziness for the most part… the good ol american society loves its automobile, dependent we have become… fools really.
    licensing bikes is complete foolishness, won’t do a damn thing.
    that’s like saying license plates on cars avoids incidents, that’s a bunch of horsesht…

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