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Old 06-07-10, 11:34 AM   #26
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iowa already has licencing, or at least did at one point. it was simply a sticker stuck to the bike in the shape of the state, about the size of a nickel. it was more or less a way to track your bike if it was stolen... like a licence plate number. keep in mind i dont know if they still do it here.
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Old 06-07-10, 02:39 PM   #27
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Two different things between licensing bikes and licensing riders. The town I used to live in used to license bikes for theft recovery/ID. AFAIK it never really paid off and the data base is no longer in existence. IIRC you paid $1 at any fire department or precinct and they would register your bike for you. I had several stolen that had the stickers on them and none of them were ever recovered.

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Old 06-07-10, 02:49 PM   #28
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But as someone else pointed out, what would we be paying for? Bicycles don't need anything. They can ride across any terrain and don't require any sort of infrastructure at all. They cause no pollution, and are human powered. What next, licences for skateboards? Rollerblades? Shoes?

The only reason people think we need bicycle lanes are because of cars and the lack of driver education. Bicycle lanes are useless IMO, and I rarely use them as they are usually full of drain covers and road debris.

As it is due to motorists that we need an infrastructure / education to protect us then motorists should pay for it. I honestly wouldn't care if there were no roads at all, I'd just buy a bike with suspension / fat tyres and continue riding. It would be the motorists who will complain first.
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Old 06-07-10, 02:55 PM   #29
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I'd be fine with being licensed and taxed for bicycle use. We use the roads, we should pay something for it too.
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Old 06-07-10, 03:28 PM   #30
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A money grab? More like a money loser. More employees, with bennies and pensions, records, blah, blah blah. No way license fees will pay for all that. bk

OOPS! Starting to sound like a Republican.
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Old 06-07-10, 03:43 PM   #31
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but there's a certain freedom that comes with riding a bike a care free feeling, now don't get me wrong I'm not talking about being reckless or irresponsible on the road I just think all the rules a regulations would take some of that freedom away.
There was probably a time when motorists enjoyed the certain care free feeling of driving around everywhere too; but enough of them abused it, and now licensing is mandatory, (and most state DMVs & law-enforcement personnel are quick to point out that driving in their state is a privilege, not a right.)
Imagine the death and chaos that would result today if motorists didn't have the threat of losing their driving privileges. I wish all of us cyclists could be a little more responsible without that threat hanging over us, but thanks to the abusers, it may pass. And once it passes in one metropolis, other metropolises will probably follow suit.
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Old 06-07-10, 04:21 PM   #32
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There was probably a time when motorists enjoyed the certain care free feeling of driving around everywhere too; but enough of them abused it, and now licensing is mandatory, (and most state DMVs & law-enforcement personnel are quick to point out that driving in their state is a privilege, not a right.)
Imagine the death and chaos that would result today if motorists didn't have the threat of losing their driving privileges. I wish all of us cyclists could be a little more responsible without that threat hanging over us, but thanks to the abusers, it may pass. And once it passes in one metropolis, other metropolises will probably follow suit.
But cyclists behaving irresponsibly don't kill people. If we mess around we are likely to be the ones killed.

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I'd be fine with being licensed and taxed for bicycle use. We use the roads, we should pay something for it too.
We don't damage the roads though. If only cyclists used the roads, they'd never need to be resurfaced - we'd just buy fatter tyres! Cars and other heavy vehicles place a lot of wear and tear on the roads - hence why they have to pay road tax. They also take up huge amounts of space, require lots of infrastructure as they have the potential to be so dangerous and they pollute.
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Old 06-07-10, 04:36 PM   #33
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There was probably a time when motorists enjoyed the certain care free feeling of driving around everywhere too; but enough of them abused it, and now licensing is mandatory, (and most state DMVs & law-enforcement personnel are quick to point out that driving in their state is a privilege, not a right.)
Imagine the death and chaos that would result today if motorists didn't have the threat of losing their driving privileges. I wish all of us cyclists could be a little more responsible without that threat hanging over us, but thanks to the abusers, it may pass. And once it passes in one metropolis, other metropolises will probably follow suit.
You make a good point, there are irresponsible cyclist's out there who abuse the laws of the road but there are also irresponsible drivers, like other members have said here I think all of this boils down to education if it were up to me I'd do away with the licensce proposel altogether and stick to educating drivers about respecting cyclist on the road but the same could be said about some cyclist's so there are two sides to this coin.
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Old 06-07-10, 04:40 PM   #34
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YES!!!

Even as I write this post a bill is moving through the legislature in Arizona. Failure to have a license on a bike will specificially be a reason that police may investigate the immigration status of the rider.
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Old 06-07-10, 05:27 PM   #35
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I'd be fine with being licensed and taxed for bicycle use. We use the roads, we should pay something for it too.
I already pay for the roads via property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes. I can't find the study at the moment but it indicates that cyclists pay more for the amount of road they use than motorists. The same study indicates that most cars and trucks DON'T pay for the full amount of road they use.

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Old 06-07-10, 06:12 PM   #36
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I already pay for the roads via property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes. I can't find the study at the moment but it indicates that cyclists pay more for the amount of road they use than motorists. The same study indicates that most cars and trucks DON'T pay for the full amount of road they use.

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And abuse, particularly trucks. The US freeway system was designed for trucks with a GVWR of about 60,000 pounds but many years ago congress, in it's infinite wisdom, passed a bill raising the limit to 80,000 pounds. Trucks do about 90% of road damage per estimates I have seen. Most of the rest is weather related. Due to political influence the trucking industry is very heavily subsidized as far as the cost of, and damage to, infrastructure is concerned.

With cutbacks due to current economic conditions police have told me they basically do not have the time or manpower to enforce rules of the road for bicyclists. If they did then more bicyclists would not be scofflaws. They do it because they can get away with it 99% of the time without penalty. Is this going to change by licensing bikes or riders? It does not seem to stop many auto drivers who routinely ignore traffic laws.
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Old 06-07-10, 06:21 PM   #37
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If I have to license my bicycle will the police put as much effort into recovering it as they would if it was a car or motorcycle, should it be stolen? Will my insurance company cover it for damages?

Probably not, so I say this measure is just cyclist harassment.
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Old 06-07-10, 06:24 PM   #38
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YES!!!

Even as I write this post a bill is moving through the legislature in Arizona. Failure to have a license on a bike will specificially be a reason that police may investigate the immigration status of the rider.
Good gravy! Even worse than getting pulled over for a DWNW (Driving While Not White) now you can get nabbed for CWNW (Cycling While Not White). I bet they don't investigate the status of a single rich, white roadie without a visible bicycle license.
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Old 06-07-10, 06:26 PM   #39
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The bonus double post "feature" of BF strikes again!
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Old 06-07-10, 06:36 PM   #40
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Licensing bicycles is nothing new. Back in the 50s in the Wisconsin town where we lived, all bicycles were required to be licensed. They issued little metal license plates that were supposed to displayed on the back of the seat. The cool thing to do was to take the license plate and stick it into your spokes -- like the way that some young kids now put cards or photographs in their spokes. I guess that's the new cool. If you were caught riding an unlicensed bike you had to go to bicycle court. I'm not making this up. I had to go to bicycle court once when I was about 10 for riding two abreast. I got probation. So, will laws be passed requiring that bicycles be license? Sure, you bet. Will laws be passed requiring that bicycle riders be licensed? Maybe in Austin and Madison, but other places, no.

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somewhere in the forums today somebody was riffing on Alice's Restaurant. Just made me think, "kid, have you ever been arrested?"
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Old 06-07-10, 07:02 PM   #41
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We don't damage the roads though. If only cyclists used the roads, they'd never need to be resurfaced - we'd just buy fatter tyres! Cars and other heavy vehicles place a lot of wear and tear on the roads - hence why they have to pay road tax. They also take up huge amounts of space, require lots of infrastructure as they have the potential to be so dangerous and they pollute.
They'd never have to be resurfaced? Do bike paths have to be resurfaced? Of course they do. And that costs money. We, as cyclists and users of that infrastructure, should pay for some of it. Certainly not as much as a car or truck, but something. And most of us already pay for it because we're drivers too.
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Old 06-07-10, 07:05 PM   #42
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I already pay for the roads via property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes. I can't find the study at the moment but it indicates that cyclists pay more for the amount of road they use than motorists. The same study indicates that most cars and trucks DON'T pay for the full amount of road they use.

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That's such a bogus study, if it is real. Most cyclists in the US also drive cars, and pay taxes to use that infrastructure. Cyclists pay the same amount, because they use the roads the same. The only way this has any fact is say, truckers vs. your average daily driver, just because a trucker is on the roads so much more and a heavier, more obtrusive vehicle.
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Old 06-07-10, 08:05 PM   #43
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That's such a bogus study, if it is real. Most cyclists in the US also drive cars, and pay taxes to use that infrastructure. Cyclists pay the same amount, because they use the roads the same. The only way this has any fact is say, truckers vs. your average daily driver, just because a trucker is on the roads so much more and a heavier, more obtrusive vehicle.
No it is not bogus, car free people pay taxes and don't drive cars but still subsidize the roads. Cyclists do not use nearly as much road space as a single occupant 4000# vehicle. And FWIW according to my local DOT engineer heavy trucks do about 10,000 times the amount of damage to a single stretch of road as a car. IOW an 80,000 pound truck makes a pass across a section of highway and creates wear and tear, you can run 10,000 cars across the same stretch of road and cause the same amount of damage, and the last time I checked trucks don't pay 10,000 times the amount of taxes a single car does.

Also you can place around 12 cyclists in the same amount of road space that it takes for a medium sized car.And while we are at it vehicle traffic kills around 43,000 people annually and costs around $164.5 billion a year, show me anywhere, anyway, anyhow that cyclists are going to generate those kinds of costs. If they want to tax cyclists do it on a per pound basis, but tax other vehicles the same. Dollar a pound a year sounds fair to me...

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Old 06-07-10, 08:11 PM   #44
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It would have to be very expensive license and a tiny program in order to run without debt... City of Toronto looked at it and the numbers just don't add up. It has been repeatedly tabled(by anti-bicycle advocates) and then taken off the table(by taxpayers).
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Ultimately, it would cost more than it would bring in. Several jurisdictions have tried it, and no success, because it cost more to administer the program than the revenue it generated.
Those are good arguments, but they may not work on the spittle-flecked editorial-page letter writer or the local pol who wants his vote. That not all the costs could be covered by fees won't matter to Joe the Motorist as much as the fact that cyclists would primarily be the ones getting hosed (and if licensing fees don't cover costs, well, just raise them until they do!). Your local pol won't care because none of it is his money, and he gets to make noises about responsibility, etc.
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Old 06-07-10, 09:03 PM   #45
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That's such a bogus study, if it is real. Most cyclists in the US also drive cars, and pay taxes to use that infrastructure..
Rubbish. Taxpayers pay whether they use the infastructure or not. I've worked with several people who had neither cars nor drivers licences guess how much their non-driving tax rebate was at the end of the year from two sales taxes, property tax, and provincial and federal income tax. Yup, zero.

I put about 2,000km on my car a year because I ride about 85% of the time. I pay pretty much the exact same amount of tax into general revenue as the guy next door who works at the same place. My tax rebate for the 10,000km that I don't drive. 0$.

About 12 years ago I worked at a law firm where one of the partners commuted about 15km or so a day year round. Probably in the top 5% of income earners and lived in the second highest property tax region in the country. Rebate for light road use; $0 even though of the thousands of cars he passed everyday, he paid more for their road use than they did. As a bonus the road condition in his neighbourhood were probably the worst in the city. Another partner was a marathon runner, so he would run in 20km or bike in. Yeah, his rebate was $0 too.

All we ask in return for our tax dollar is to not be run over or run off the road. Too much I guess.
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Old 06-07-10, 09:47 PM   #46
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Bicycles are required to be licensed where I live for years now, the price was approx $2.50US but in 2008 the new government raised it by 5 times the amount. It doesn't bother me since there is no annual fee and the metal plate lasts forever (the numbers on mine's is starting to wear so I touched it up with white-out ). However it would be a problem if they started to charge cyclist each year.
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Old 06-08-10, 01:10 AM   #47
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Ultimately, it would cost more than it would bring in. Several jurisdictions have tried it, and no success, because it cost more to administer the program than the revenue it generated.
Exactly. Of course, that won't stop media commentators (and maybe one motorist in every million) from whining about it, but the prospect of it ever becoming reality is somewhere between highly unlikely and impossible.
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Old 06-08-10, 01:22 AM   #48
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There was probably a time when motorists enjoyed the certain care free feeling of driving around everywhere too; but enough of them abused it, and now licensing is mandatory, (and most state DMVs & law-enforcement personnel are quick to point out that driving in their state is a privilege, not a right.)
Imagine the death and chaos that would result today if motorists didn't have the threat of losing their driving privileges. I wish all of us cyclists could be a little more responsible without that threat hanging over us, but thanks to the abusers, it may pass. And once it passes in one metropolis, other metropolises will probably follow suit.
Oh, puh-leeeze! Does anyone seriously believe that a licencing system will have any impact on "scofflaw" cyclists? After all, the police in most places seem totally unable to do anything about motorists who offend (even the ones that actually pay their registration, which is only around 50% of them anyway), what makes anyone think they'll fare any better with cyclists? Paying a registration/licencing fee isn't going to change anything. Motorists and cyclists a like will still get away with breaking the law with impunity, the police will still ignore cyclists' complains (legitimate or otherwise) and bike paths will still be useless. It might be useful for tracing stolen bikes, if that ever became something the police might pursue.

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There ... I fixed that for you.

Saskatchewan had bicycle licensing back in the 1970s, complete with mini license plates ... for all cyclists from the child on his/her first two-wheeler to adults. It's been done.

Here, have a look ... scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see the 1976 license plates for bicycles. I lived there from 1976 to 1979, so I would have had a license just like that on my bicycle.

http://www.plateshack.com/76/SK/saskatchewan.html
But did anybody bother to enforce it? Sure, it's been tried before, but invariably the idea is scrapped everytime because it loses money, and money is what this is all about. I suspect they probably brought the law in with great fanfare, grabbed whatever they could from the suckers who bothered to pay, didn't bother chasing anybody else, and then quietly dropped the law when it had outlived it's usefulness.

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Those are good arguments, but they may not work on the spittle-flecked editorial-page letter writer or the local pol who wants his vote. That not all the costs could be covered by fees won't matter to Joe the Motorist as much as the fact that cyclists would primarily be the ones getting hosed (and if licensing fees don't cover costs, well, just raise them until they do!). Your local pol won't care because none of it is his money, and he gets to make noises about responsibility, etc.
Yes, but just ask the letter writer whether he's prepared to see his taxes spent on subsidising a licencing system for someone else because it runs at a loss. I think the answer will be a "no" on that one. Besides, you don't think individuals spouting off on "letters to the editor" pages actually represent what the majority of people think, do you? No, Joe Sixpack will just find something else to whine about with his abundant free time. If we're not freeloaders on the road, we'll be "impeding traffic" or "***** in spandex" or something else that bothers him. That's just how bigotry works.
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Old 06-08-10, 12:46 PM   #49
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Oh, puh-leeeze! Does anyone seriously believe that a licencing system will have any impact on "scofflaw" cyclists?
Thanks for your puh-liteness. That's such a rare virtue in internet conversations these days.
I never said licensing would be effective, but that won't stop a frustrated electorate from making it a reality. Puh-lease try to remain focused on the issue at hand instead of engaging in emotional tirades.
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Old 06-08-10, 01:37 PM   #50
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When they start regulating bicycles, I'm going to start an outlaw bicycle gang.
Crank Turner is offline   Reply With Quote
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