Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Trade in, trade off

My husband told me he was going to divorce me and sign up for the Vogla Girls mail order bride service (SP Mar. 3/10) for my comments today.

I agree with Councillor Heidt on his suggestion of licensing bikes. For whatever reason cyclists believe the traffic laws do not apply to them. Both roadways and sidewalks are theirs for the taking. We license every other vehicle using the roads - why not them. No other vehicles get to use the sideways at their convenience. Other vehicles get ticketed for breach of traffic laws. Inconsiderate cyclists dart in and out of road traffic and jump to pedestrian walkways when convenient.

This isn't an issue of bikes lanes, bike mounts on buses or the positive effects of cycling. All of those are valid. The issue is bad cycling that needs to be monitored and dealt with. Maybe it should go one step further and make cyclists pass a drivers test before they hit the roadways.

As for the comment that this is a tax grab, the same could be said of licensing cars and motorcycles.

Now I'm going to go find myself a good divorce lawyer.


  1. Not surprised you would agree with Heidt on this! The old saying "two peas in a pod"! I could only imagine your outrgae had it been suggested by Charlie Clark! If your council had invested in infratructure, safe laneways, education and other means of support for cyclist then Saskatoon would not have the problems that it does today!

  2. Well Mistress sorry to here about the marriage problems hope you sort those out. U could always go to and get yourself a good Ukrainian man. LOL

    AS to the bike issue. I remember the day when every child was required to pass a bike test before being able to ride their bikes to school. That was one of the most exciting days in a kids life. The good old bike rodeo. So why not do the same for adults. I agree this is an enforcement issue and a process to effect that. Heidt does make a good point that there maybe new technologies that make this enforcement easier. We already have a separate license for motor cycling why not just piggy back onto that system for bikes.

    As for anons comments about safe lane ways and education...I do not believe there will ever be a day when there are no accidents between bikes and motor vehicles. Oh wait maybe when motor vehicles are outlawed on the streets. But realistically there will always be a conflict as long as they are sharing the same space and I don't know of any city that a bicycle can get around fully without going on a road at some time.

    So if my cat and dog need a license to provide funding for enforcement of bylaws why not bicycles.

    It's just too bad our council is more interested in catching my dog off his leash than they are on protecting a citizen from the perils of kamikaze cyclists.

  3. If you want to register bikes to provide a better means of recovering them once lost or stolen, sure go for it.

    Last time I checked, there are laws already in place to ticket cyclists who don't obey the rules of the road. I'm curious how licensing cyclists will improve the ability to enforce these rules. Will yet another City administered program do anything besides increasing our yearly Operational budget?

    Better yet, show me a city that has such a program in place and how it has improved the ability to ticket bad cyclists.

    Why don't we spend our tax dollars on providing a safer road system that allows cars, cyclists, and pedestrians to co-exist?

  4. Anon 7:58 - I'm happy to share a pod with Myles on this one. Grizz, I already have a good Ukrainian Man - or did!

    Can we stay on topic. The issue is bad cyclists. I know there are good cyclists just as there are good drivers. I acknowledge the validity of infrastructure issues etc. But we do crack down on bad drivers and use licensing as a means to that end. |How do we deal with bad cyclists?

    Sean, maybe this city should lead the way rather than simply saying it can't work. How can you ticket someone if you can't identify them? As for costs, we already pay for enforcement of vehicle violations and this should probably fall under this umbrella. Your thoughts on this please.

  5. But you can identify them. Are the police going to nab a bad cyclist and then let him go without a ticket or warning because he doesn't have a bike license?

    I'm all for going after bad cyclists because they make an already dangerous situation worse for those who obey the rules. Again, those mechanisms are already in place, so why add another layer to our City Admin?

    A much more effective way to combat bad cyclists is education, better infrastructure, and enforcement of the existing rules.

    Personally, I rather see police efforts go into reducing the danger posed by bad drivers who are significantly more likely to cause bodily harm than a bad cyclist.

  6. There does need to be an enforcement of the law on cyclist. They seem to pick and chose which laws they want to follow.

  7. same could be said for car drivers.

  8. I have never seen a car decide that one second it wants to drive on the road and the next the side walk. One second it wants room on the road and the next it will go through a red light.

  9. Well....actually Anon 4:27, I've definitely seen a driver decide that one second they want more room on the road (when they squeeze a cylcist out of a lane or into a parked car) and the next second go through a red light. Stand at any major street corner in the city and you will see many drivers committing similar minor offences to cyclists, changing lanes without signaling, rolling through stop signs, not stopping at pedestrian crossing, cutting off other vehicles....all the things that bad cyclists do.

    Now my question for everyone who thinks we need licenses to identify the bad cyclists to ticket them, when was the last time you called police to give them the license plate of someone who ran a red light or didn't stop at a pedestrian crossing???

    If you ever did call the police, did they laugh at you? or just politely take your call and then not bother tracking the person down and then try to give them a ticket. This seems to be why people want bike call the police on people and turn them in. Do you really think that will work? or is a good use of police resources?

    Police have cracked down on reckless drivers recently, they pull them over and ticket them, the same thing can be done for cyclists and it doesn't make a difference if bikes are licensed or not, a police officer sees some riding on the side walk, the ticket them. Simple. Police have cracked down on this in the past and they will again, but I really can't see the day when bad cyclists receive a ticket in the mail a week after running a red light.

  10. I think licensing of bikes is a very poor idea. We dont license people who jay walk because we cant identify them. And there are many people who jay walk and can cause serious accidents doing so. We have fines for doing so as we do for cyclists.
    We encourage our citizenry,especially children, to get off their butts & away from their computers and get some exercise. And biking is great exercise and fun too! Licensing bikes will only discourage that activity...
    Im with David on this one!!

  11. How is having a license going to do anything? So a citizen is hit or sees someone irresponsibly riding on the sidewalks. #1, unless the license plates are really large, they won't be able to report a license plate anyway. And #2, won't it just be their word against someone else without a witness? I think this is just another stupid law without a purpose.

  12. As has been said earlier the most basic option should be cracking down on cyclist who do not follow the law.

  13. personally, i don't mind the idea of a bike license system. however the practicality of implementing one is probably unrealistic. in response to some of the posts: grizz while there is no city i can think of that a bike can get by without being on the road at some point, there are sveral cities (ie Amsterdam) where the relationship between cyclists and vehicles is one of cooperation. it is not a matter of having separate infrastructure, it is learning to share it.

    i can relate to this as a motorist and a cycler. from the motorists perspective my biggest problem with bikers is lack of consistency. you never know what to expect. some bikers use the lanes, some curb ride, some on the sidewalk, some treat traffic lights as if they were a pedestrian, some treat them as if they were a motor vehicle, etc. etc... where a license system would be helpful is ensuring that every cyclist is aware of the laws and operating in a similar fashion. even with bad motorists there is a sense of some predictability, with bikers good or bad there is no sense of how they will operate the bike, it is a crapshoot with each rider. from the cyclists perspective, the biggest motorists problems stem from road entitlement. to mistress i suspect that if it was a law to carry your bike license on you at all times that police could nab you for not having it, ever run into a cop when you didn't have your driver's license with you? there are also a variety of other options, such as locking the bike until identification provided (similar to a car boot), or even bike confiscation until id shown. point is, there are ways to enforce it.

    maybe the best idea would be this spring for the police to set up bike traps around the city. nothing would get people to start learning the rules of the road quicker than a few tickets. ticket both bikers and motorists for the first few months of summer. heavily ticket them, every infraction until both start obeying the laws. there should be enough money to cover to costs of the additional patrol required plus help soften the blow of this horrendous municipal budget.


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