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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