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Suspect that eventually it`ll take a license to bike in Montreal!

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Suspect that eventually it`ll take a license to bike in Montreal!

Old 06-07-11, 05:00 PM
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Burton
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Suspect that eventually it`ll take a license to bike in Montreal!

Mostly because it`s beaurocratic, largely because there are more bicycles in Montreal than in all the rest of Canada and that represents a cash cow yet unmilked, and partly for safety issues - although like cars - thats largely just a pretext for collecting money.

I`ve always maintained that rather than giving out fines and demerit points - the government should simply buy all the driving schools, and require retake the course every time there was an offence and make a 100% score in the catagory of the offence manditory. They get paid for the course, the `driver` not only gets to cover costs - they have to spend time in a classroom and their license will be invalid until they pass.

So what does that have to do with bicycles? Montreal has the most extensive array of bicycle paths of any city in North America. A few years back the city created a new division of bike equipped policemen to patrol them. Last year speed limit signs were posted along all the bicycle paths. This year I`m seeing mini-stop signs specifically for bicycles at intersections. And I`m seeing most people ignore all of them.

Last week I say a pack of 6 or 7 club riders bicycling as a group , taking up both lanes of the bicycle path and practically forcing other bicyclists off the path. There are ignorant people everywhere . Some of them happen to own bicycles.

My real concern is that some problems may not be addressed fairly. Some motorcycle drivers seem to make a big thing of driving with straight pipes. Its illegal, but rather than ticket the offenders or impound the motorcycles - the city chose to ban motorcycles from some of the most scenic and historic (read popular with tourists) parts of the city. I`d hate to see something like that happen to bicycles too but its possible.

Electric scooters have already been banned from bicycle paths here in several municipalities - largely because of the reckless irrisponsible way a FEW people drove them.. Electric bicycles (different from scooters) currently don`t need a lisence or registration but with some people bumping up the voltage and running at speeds of 50km/hr rather than the industry imposed 30 km/hr that may change too.

Some people just don`t seem to know when they have a good thing going!

Last edited by Burton; 06-07-11 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:14 PM
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Oh. Licensing bicycle riders is bureaucratic greed, but confiscating private driving schools and mandating attendence is just common sense.

Wait. You're from Quebec
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Old 06-08-11, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
Oh. Licensing bicycle riders is bureaucratic greed, but confiscating private driving schools and mandating attendence is just common sense.

Wait. You're from Quebec
Funny - here in Quebec the post offices, public schools, police forces, airports, road maintenaince, garbage collection, hydro power, automobile inspection stations, hospitals and health insurence are all government controlled - so whats the big deal? Wait - thats true for the rest of the country too!
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Old 06-08-11, 05:28 AM
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Wasn't there bicycle licencing in Quebec back in the 1970s like there was in much of the rest of the country?
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Old 06-08-11, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Wasn't there bicycle licencing in Quebec back in the 1970s like there was in much of the rest of the country?
Yup - dogs and cats needed to be registered at one point too. But like everything else - most people have ignored the requirements because they were municipal and not enforced equally. Now the SPCA has more strays than they can deal with, dog maulings are becomming increasingly common and Montreal is the bike theft capital of the country.

The five years I spent in Colombia make me think we`re not such a developed country after all. There every bike going into a shopping center is issued a pass by a security guard at a gate and the serial number is checked on the way out. Never saw a lock on a bike rack in a shopping centre. Did see a lot more police and private securiity guards (equipped with dogs and shotguns) and saw a lot less graffitti and never tripped any drug use in the streets - unlike North America where both are epidemics.
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Old 06-08-11, 07:06 AM
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Columbia's increased level of security was a result of decades of lawlessness and being the former kidnapping capital of the world. Same thing with Israel. They can't take chances in those countries with peoples' safety from major threats and the level of security naturally curbs other forms of crime. Of course it is a hassle in everyday life.
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Old 06-08-11, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Yup - dogs and cats needed to be registered at one point too. But like everything else - most people have ignored the requirements because they were municipal and not enforced equally. Now the SPCA has more strays than they can deal with, dog maulings are becomming increasingly common and Montreal is the bike theft capital of the country.

The five years I spent in Colombia make me think we`re not such a developed country after all. There every bike going into a shopping center is issued a pass by a security guard at a gate and the serial number is checked on the way out. Never saw a lock on a bike rack in a shopping centre. Did see a lot more police and private securiity guards (equipped with dogs and shotguns) and saw a lot less graffitti and never tripped any drug use in the streets - unlike North America where both are epidemics.
????
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Old 06-08-11, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
????
Isn't it obvious? Stray dogs and cats steal bikes.
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Old 06-08-11, 02:13 PM
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A bicycle licence is required here (Regina, SK, Canada) for every bike you own. It's per bike, though, not for the owner. $5 for a lifetime bicycle licence and it's technically illegal to ride a bike without one. Not that the police would ever stop you for not having one; enforcement is completely unheard of and most people don't even know you need a licence. I have licences on all of my bikes because it means that if/when it gets stolen, and found, they can actually return it to me.
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Old 06-08-11, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
Columbia's increased level of security was a result of decades of lawlessness and being the former kidnapping capital of the world. Same thing with Israel. They can't take chances in those countries with peoples' safety from major threats and the level of security naturally curbs other forms of crime. Of course it is a hassle in everyday life.
Don`t know about Isreal, but Colombias increased level of security is largely due to a lack of middle class. About 5% of the population controls 95% of the wealth and having a decent education doesn`t change that. And poverty breeds desperation which breeds crime - it always has.

The military presence on the other hand is the result of what amounted to a civil war within the country when the `drug lords` (read organized crime) decided to chalange the government for control of the country. Very much like martial law was declared in Quebec when a few idiots started kidnapping politicians and setting off bombs.

One difference I picked out quite quickly is that in Colombia the militart personnel are extremely courteous and civil and routinely say good morning to all the school kids they pass on their patrols. Kinda nice!
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Old 06-11-11, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Don`t know about Isreal, but Colombias increased level of security is largely due to a lack of middle class. About 5% of the population controls 95% of the wealth and having a decent education doesn`t change that. And poverty breeds desperation which breeds crime - it always has.

The military presence on the other hand is the result of what amounted to a civil war within the country when the `drug lords` (read organized crime) decided to chalange the government for control of the country. Very much like martial law was declared in Quebec when a few idiots started kidnapping politicians and setting off bombs.


One difference I picked out quite quickly is that in Colombia the militarty personnel are extremely courteous and civil and routinely say good morning to all the school kids they pass on their patrols. Kinda nice!
The Columbian government realized about a decade ago that the only way to win against the drug lords and narco terrorists was to protect all of the people and not just the affluent. The poor and rural farmers were too scared and sided with the bad guys to avoid being terrorized. Not to mention the government previously had ignored them. Former President Uribe raised taxes on the wealthy specifically targeted towards strengthening the security forces and importantly protecting every citizen, rich and poor. The poor loved being protected and paid attention for once. The rich in the cities noticed a remarkably improved security situation and less unrest with the poor, so much so that they haven't minded the new taxation. The creation of more security and military positions has also offered more job opportunities to the poor. Not to mention improved security means more tourism, commerce, and farmers no longer have to deal with extortion. So their economy has gotten much better. Which has helped everyone in Columbia significantly.
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Old 06-11-11, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by xiaosen View Post
A bicycle licence is required here (Regina, SK, Canada) for every bike you own. It's per bike, though, not for the owner. $5 for a lifetime bicycle licence and it's technically illegal to ride a bike without one. Not that the police would ever stop you for not having one; enforcement is completely unheard of and most people don't even know you need a licence. I have licences on all of my bikes because it means that if/when it gets stolen, and found, they can actually return it to me.
How does that apply to people from out of town/country?
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Old 06-12-11, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by xiaosen View Post
A bicycle licence is required here (Regina, SK, Canada) for every bike you own. It's per bike, though, not for the owner. $5 for a lifetime bicycle licence and it's technically illegal to ride a bike without one. Not that the police would ever stop you for not having one; enforcement is completely unheard of and most people don't even know you need a licence. I have licences on all of my bikes because it means that if/when it gets stolen, and found, they can actually return it to me.
Does that mean if I come to Regina with my bike (sometimes happens) I need a license to ride it or are out of towners exempt?
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Old 06-12-11, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
The five years I spent in Colombia make me think we`re not such a developed country after all. There every bike going into a shopping center is issued a pass by a security guard at a gate and the serial number is checked on the way out. Never saw a lock on a bike rack in a shopping centre. Did see a lot more police and private securiity guards (equipped with dogs and shotguns) and saw a lot less graffitti and never tripped any drug use in the streets - unlike North America where both are epidemics.
I'd much rather have graffiti and petty crime than a police state. Property crimes are much easier to solve than drug and gang violence like Colombia, and the best solutions don't even have to involve guns or the police.

Mandatory licensing will likely just cause a decrease in cycling and kill any possibility of it being a cash-cow for MTL... just like mandatory helmet laws kill cycling.
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Old 06-12-11, 07:06 PM
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My niece had to pass a test to get a permit -- I guess it's a license -- so she could ride a bike by herself. Not in Quebec, though; it was Germany, and I think she was 8 years old (she's 10 now).
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Old 06-13-11, 08:59 AM
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Funny - despite having a license for decades I had to rewrite all driving exams to get my motorcycle license.

I don't recall a single question about sharing the road with cyclist. There was about 4 questions about drinking and driving while on probation...

The problem with government regulation is that the point of the regulation is quickly lost and the raison d'ete for the program becomes simply tax revenue and job protection for those hired to administer the program. Then the insurance company will force their way into your pockets. Then it never ends.

There is no reason to separately license bicycles. I do think that existing licensing exams should have much more cycling related content to ensure drivers are aware of the rights and obligations of cyclists and motorists on the road.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by radshark View Post
I do think that existing licensing exams should have much more cycling related content to ensure drivers are aware of the rights and obligations of cyclists and motorists on the road.
I'd also say it like this:

I do think that existing licensing exams should have much more cycling related content to ensure cyclists are aware of the rights and obligations of cyclists and motorists on the road.
It's because the explosion of cyclists around here in the last couple years means that there are a lot of unskilled, inexperienced, uneducated riders out there. When there were fewer, each one probably knew what they were doing. Now, although total ridership has increased a LOT, I would guess that the number of skilled riders hasn't gone up much, if at all.
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Old 06-14-11, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
How does that apply to people from out of town/country?
It doesn't. His post said nobody bothers to enforce it. I'd say what's happened is that some academic did a focus group poll and decided that licencing cyclists was a "good idea", but then the government realised how much money were going to lose on the deal, and so the idea was quietly dropped. The same thing has happened in at least three Australian states and several US states, and probably everywhere else in the world this has been tried.

As someone said above, it's not about competency or recovering stolen bikes (if that ever became something the police might actually pursue), it's about revenue generation and nothing more.
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Old 06-14-11, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
It doesn't. His post said nobody bothers to enforce it. I'd say what's happened is that some academic did a focus group poll and decided that licencing cyclists was a "good idea", but then the government realised how much money were going to lose on the deal, and so the idea was quietly dropped. The same thing has happened in at least three Australian states and several US states, and probably everywhere else in the world this has been tried.

As someone said above, it's not about competency or recovering stolen bikes (if that ever became something the police might actually pursue), it's about revenue generation and nothing more.
Agreed, bicycle registration is one of those things that "looks good on paper" but when it's actually put into place they find out that it costs more in the long run than they ever thought that they would collect.

Just like there are plenty of people who do not think that cyclists pay their "fair share" to use the roads. When it has been shown cyclists, and pedestrians and bus riders actually pay more than their "fair share" for the roads.
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Old 07-14-11, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
I'd much rather have graffiti and petty crime than a police state. Property crimes are much easier to solve than drug and gang violence like Colombia, and the best solutions don't even have to involve guns or the police.

Mandatory licensing will likely just cause a decrease in cycling and kill any possibility of it being a cash-cow for MTL... just like mandatory helmet laws kill cycling.
I`m guessing you`ve never been to Colombia. Its not a police state and I actually felt safer there then the times I visited New York City in the USA. Television tends to exaggurate reality to the point that the `news` seldom reflects the truth.

The truth is that where I live in Montreal Quebec we also have bikers and police in a war over drug distribution and that doesn`t mean I live in a police state either. The truth is that the whole time I was in Colombia I never smelt grass being smoked in the streets or any obvious evidence of drug abuse. In Montreal on the other hand its a common occurrance.

So actually if there`s a drug problem its in the USA and Canada where the users are. And since its illegal - people selling to these `users` in any country are referred to as criminals. Actually the main government approved export coming out of Colombia is tropical flowers - which is a larger export than coffee.

I respect your views on helmets, but have also not seen any indications that manditory seatbelts and airbags discouraged people from buying cars. The price of gas and increased unemployment did.

Last edited by Burton; 07-14-11 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 07-14-11, 05:42 AM
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OK So here`s the latest results of my snooping around.

The MUC (Montreal Urban Community) has posted online regulations and guidelines for the correct operation of a bicycle. Although somewhat vague - the not so vague part was a detailed list of violations and the resulting fines and demerit points that will be deducted from - YOUR DRIVER`S LICENSE!

Fines are apparently consistantly only $27 but demerit points are equivanent to demerit points for the same offence if committed with a motor veichle. Demerit points will impact insurance rates and registration rates and licensing fees and in some cases - your ability to drive a car at all!

No indication how cases will be handled where drivers either have no drivers license or have already exceeded the maximum number of demerit points to be able to drive a car legally.

Last edited by Burton; 07-14-11 at 05:58 AM.
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