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  1. #1
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    Ken's Dumb idea for London cyclists

    OK, so i started to quite like Ken Livingstone (mayor of london for those that don't know), when he introduced the congestion charge and with his work to promote cycling in London, but his latest idea pretty much leaves me speechless.

    How would you go about implementing and policing such a scheme is beyond me, surely he must see it just ain't going to work. The only thing i can say is i'm sure as hell not fitting a licence plate to my bike.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...289733,00.html

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    It's only worthwhile if you could get vanity plates. And then some idiot would **** it up with "BRKLESS"

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I agree, implementing and policing a license plate system for bikes is ridiculous. Apparently the City of London has lots of excess cash and no real problems to deal with.

    This is a broader issue than just ss/fixie stuff. I'm moving this to Advocacy and Safety.

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  4. #4
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    If people felt safe riding on the roads they might not ride on the footpath IMO. I agree that cyclists shouldn't blow red lights though.

    If we're going to ride on the road we should obey the laws of the road - at least to the same extent that the other road users do.

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    According to the article, it's a problem now because ridership is up in London-- and that's a good thing, surely?

    As far as enforcing such a scheme, it's not too difficult for law enforcement to determine whether a bike has a license affixed. Whether you want a license affixed is a different matter. It's certainly one way to enforce the traffic laws, and because bikes are vehicles that are subject to the traffic laws, and because I believe that cyclists should obey the traffic laws, I don't have an issue with affixing identification to bikes. It might even put a dent in bike theft if the law is crafted with that in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by damnham
    OK, so i started to quite like Ken Livingstone (mayor of london for those that don't know), when he introduced the congestion charge and with his work to promote cycling in London, but his latest idea pretty much leaves me speechless.

    How would you go about implementing and policing such a scheme is beyond me, surely he must see it just ain't going to work. The only thing i can say is i'm sure as hell not fitting a licence plate to my bike.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...289733,00.html
    Please translate to english. What is the "pavements" they refer to as being illegal for cyclists to ride on.
    Crossing at the "zebras". You brits use strange expressions.
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    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnham
    ... but his latest idea pretty much leaves me speechless.
    Yeah, I understand wanting to control law breakers, but is there really a problem?

    From the article,

    Concern has increased over the behaviour of cyclists because of the rising number of bicycles on the roads in London.

    Figures released last month showed that the number of people cycling in the capital had risen by 50 per cent in the past five years.
    but the BBC printed an article earlier this year (@http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4619700.stm) that said,

    ...This kind of blundering contempt for the facts is poisoning the image of cycling...Everyone is finding bad news because that is what they expect to find. Either they get their facts wrong, or else they read them in the worst possible way...Even the belief that cycling is "dangerous" fails reality check; ordinary cycling is a low-risk mode of travel much like walking...Since the Congestion Charge was introduced in London, there has been 40% more cycling, yet casualties have fallen...It is forgotten that after the Oil Crisis of the 1970s, cycle use in Britain grew by about 50% in 10 years, yet annual fatalities actually fell by 10%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by damnham
    OK, so i started to quite like Ken Livingstone (mayor of london for those that don't know), when he introduced the congestion charge and with his work to promote cycling in London, but his latest idea pretty much leaves me speechless.

    How would you go about implementing and policing such a scheme is beyond me, surely he must see it just ain't going to work. The only thing i can say is i'm sure as hell not fitting a licence plate to my bike.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...289733,00.html
    It's worth pointing out that London has more CCTV police surveillance cameras than any other major city in the world. Ken Livingstone is starting to remind me of Big Brother from George Orwell's novel "1984".

    What happens to the cyclist who lives just outside the boundaries of the area where license plates are required, and rides into that area to do some shopping, etc.? What about the commuter who brings his folding bike into London on the train to ride from the train station to his workplace?

    There are parts of the US where bicycles can be registered as a theft deterrent or to assist in recovering a stolen bike, but a license plate big enough to be read by a surveillance camera seems a bit impractical.

  9. #9
    Olé Olé Olé Olé T-C...N-J TCNJCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Please translate to english. What is the "pavements" they refer to as being illegal for cyclists to ride on.
    Crossing at the "zebras". You brits use strange expressions.
    I guess:
    Pavements=Sidewalks
    Zebra Crossings=Crosswalks

    Now I want my avatar to be a zebra crossing sign in the style of a deer crossing sign.
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  10. #10
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Please translate to english. What is the "pavements" they refer to as being illegal for cyclists to ride on.
    Crossing at the "zebras". You brits use strange expressions.
    Lol some one altavistaed the page.

    pavements likely does refer to sidewalks and zebras will be striped payment or what we call the cross walk.

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    It's not the actual idea of licencing cyclists that i object to, especially if it gets us an ounce more respect from drivers. I have no problems with carrying around a licence in my wallet for example. It's more the practicality of it, i just can't see how it would work.

    Just where would you attach a licence plate big enough to be read by cctv cameras and not be covered up by saddle bags or shoulder bags, or be in such a position it doesn't get in the way?

    There's also the issue of all the people who have there bikes stored away in their garages for 40 weeks of the year. Will they be bothered to get it out for their summertime ride if they have to go though the whole licencing procedure. And what about kids? Does a kid with stabilisers cycling along the pavement have to licence it? Where would the lines be drawn?

    I can see that if this idea does become reality then a lot of the good work done to encourage people to cycle more will be lost and we'll see a big decline in the amount of cyclists in London.

  12. #12
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damnham
    Just where would you attach a licence plate...?

    ...all the people who have there bikes stored away...Will they be bothered...to go though the whole licencing procedure.

    I can see that if this idea does become reality then a lot of the good work done to encourage people to cycle more will be lost and we'll see a big decline in the amount of cyclists in London.
    Lots of "good ideas" that come from politicians showing off really only amount to "bad ideas."
    No worries

  13. #13
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    This reminds me of a similar situation we had here in Vancouver when bicycle couriers started to dominate n the downtown core.

    City hall received many complaints about the actions of cyclists riding dangerously, so city council decided to impliment a licencing program for couriers.

    I knew a cycling instructor that tested the couriers that had to get plates (it wasn't a simple plate registration, couriers had to be tested and pass a cycling safety course to get their plate) and he told me that immediatly after the plates appeared on the couriers complaints disappeared.

    Now, that instructor was also a courier and interacted with the other couriers every day and he said it was his observation that the behaviour of the newly tested couriers did not change one bit.

    It seemed to him the drop in complaints was directly due to the presense of the plates, not to the way the couriers were riding.

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    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    I think the public would be better served by requiring terrorists to obtain a permit before setting off their explosives in the London Underground.

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    I don't know. Lately I'd almost like to get an "optional" plate for my bike, I'm sick of my neighbor telling me every time he sees me, "You don't pay taxes, ride on the sidewalk" I guess the idea being that property owners pay to maintain the sidewalk, or maybe I'm giving him to much credit. Not to mention I do pay taxes, but whatever; I'd like to just shut him up at this point.

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    Senior Member blknwhtfoto's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree with bike2math. Most everyone I know who doesn't ride a bike *****es about the fact that bikes don't have to be licensed. I think that if bikes were to be licensed there'd have to be a cohesive set of laws that we'd have to follow, but that'd be great for me because at least where I live, there are state laws, but cops don't really know them well and then there are all these signs saying that bikes must use crosswalk here, but then a block down there isn't that same order. I just want to know what I can and can't do, then I'll push my boundries accordingly. Also, if we were licensed, we could have a bit more claim to the road. If we're paying for licenses, we're a viable investor in the roads(at least around here) so then we should be given more bike paths, and maybe the street sweepers would quit pushing the glass and gravel into our lanes.

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    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Yes, pavements are sidewalks.

  18. #18
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    I believe that they should also fit registrarion numbers to pedestrians - both fore and aft. The best solution would be to tattoo the registration number on each persons forehead, and on their buttocks, then the one universal number could be used for both pedestrians and cyclists. If renewal stickers are required they could be handled with a simple coloured ring and a small piercing in an unobtrusive spot .

    Question for Mr. Livingston - I live in the US, but bring a bicycle with me when I travel (I will next be in London next month), should I get the tattoos or whatever registration system you propose as a visitor to your fine city, or would you prefer that I just stay away?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald
    I believe that they should also fit registrarion numbers to pedestrians - both fore and aft. The best solution would be to tattoo the registration number on each persons forehead, and on their buttocks, then the one universal number could be used for both pedestrians and cyclists. If renewal stickers are required they could be handled with a simple coloured ring and a small piercing in an unobtrusive spot .

    Question for Mr. Livingston - I live in the US, but bring a bicycle with me when I travel (I will next be in London next month), should I get the tattoos or whatever registration system you propose as a visitor to your fine city, or would you prefer that I just stay away?
    That's SO 1984.... As in last century.

    Really, barcodes would be the way to go, with optical scanners.

  20. #20
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Really, barcodes would be the way to go, with optical scanners.
    Dark Angel.

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    Look, I definitely do not support required plates or even undisplayed registration for bikes (much less peds). But if I could donate 35 bucks (car registration IIRC) to the city or state and get a little plaque that says "I support the roads of XXX county" or whatever I think I would get one. Not because I think bikes should need them, but because I'm sick of the b*****ing and just want to stop it.

    As for enforcibility (sp?) I see countless pickup trucks with unreadable plates, no one clears the snow off their plates in the winter (didn't their dads make them do this like mine did?), and there are a couple of cars on my route that have had the "temporary" plates taped to the rear window for over a year now. Good luck doing any better with bikes.

  22. #22
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sauerwald
    Question for Mr. Livingston - I live in the US, but bring a bicycle with me when I travel (I will next be in London next month), should I get the tattoos or whatever registration system you propose as a visitor to your fine city, or would you prefer that I just stay away?

    Knowing Red Ken he would probably tell you to F*** off and don't bother. He's not a typical politician.

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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Please translate to english. What is the "pavements" they refer to as being illegal for cyclists to ride on.
    Crossing at the "zebras". You brits use strange expressions.
    I won't translate it into English, but I'll try doing it into American.

    pavement = sidewalk
    zebra = striped pedestrian crossing. Peds have right of way.
    Likewise: tarmac = blacktop
    inside/nearside lane = outer lane

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    That's SO 1984.... As in last century.

    Really, barcodes would be the way to go, with optical scanners.
    Thats the 90's, RFID tags or GPS tracking device. Instead of plates or licence we should implant ID and tracking device into people like we do with our pets.

  25. #25
    Senior Member OH306's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remsav
    Thats the 90's, RFID tags or GPS tracking device. Instead of plates or licence we should implant ID and tracking device into people like we do with our pets.
    Finally, someone with a lick of sense! No need to carry cash or a credit card, just let em scan your forehead. No more identiy theft unless they take your head (not a good thing if you live in Iraq).

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