Revisiting debate on licensing cyclists
My most recent article about licensing cyclists created a ton of debate and reaction. I can’t believe something I wrote generated such healthy debate among Torontonians.
Because of space and time there really is only so much I can put into an article. So I wanted to take this opportunity to address a few things related to my article and the reaction it generated.
My premise is still very sound: have a licensing system for cyclists with the intent of creating a cohesive city-wide bike network, educating everyone on bike safety (motorists included) and eventually create a better transportation network in the city.
People were too fixated on the price of a licence and the re-testing period. I can appreciate and understand why. The reason I picked the numbers I picked were two-fold:
- This is not a cash-grab as some have portrayed. Money collected would be used to help expand bike infrastructure by making more lanes, paths, lockers, and other bike-friendly initiatives, including education, and spread the network out into the furthest reaches of the city.
- The time in between re-testing was unreasonable on my part but this isn’t set in stone and was just an idea. If it was spread out to every five or 10 years I’d be okay with this too.
Critics will claim that if this idea was worth implementing the city would have done this years ago.
I think this is the best time to rethink the idea of licensing because of the growth in understanding that transit needs to be expanded and new options to get around need to be found.
The downtown core cannot handle any more cars and new ways to get around must be found. But the city must also not implement changes unilaterally without consultation from all groups.
Having said all of this, people go looking for conspiracies where there isn’t one. People in this city are quick to shoot first and ask questions second.
In my opinion, debate is a good thing and makes for better conversation. This is what the Your City, My City section is all about. I offer an opinion on the issues I think are important to the city. I stand by what I’ve written.
I enjoy writing for the Toronto Star and will continue to do so until my commitment ends.
We’re never going to agree on everything and that’s a good thing.