Bike Licensing: “Limited benefits and significant challenges”
From a report commissioned by Ottawa lawmakers comes the latest evidence that licensing cyclists isn’t worth it:
…the system would cost about $100,000 a year and would recover, at best, $40,000 in fees from cyclists.
Worse, it would impose a barrier on would-be cyclists, who would have to go through an extra layer of bureaucracy before they could legally ride, just when the city actually wants people to take to their bikes because they don’t significantly contribute to traffic congestion and put less wear and tear on roads.
“Given the foregoing limited benefits and significant challenges, and primarily based on the fact that bicycle licensing would act as a significant barrier to cycling, it is recommended that bicycle licensing not be implemented in the City of Ottawa,” the report concludes…
As in Ottawa, bike licensing in New York City would pose more questions than could be answered with the limited tools of government. If the city required a license for all cyclists, would a person who commutes from New Jersey via the George Washington Bridge or a multi-modal commuter who uses a ferry need to have a license, too? How would you deal with bike share users, tourists at Bike and Roll, or visitors borrowing a friend’s bike? Do you license riders only or also require their bikes to be registered? If so, would a person with multiple bikes need a separate registration for each one? The list of questions would go on forever, as would the red tape.