Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Western Canada
Reload this Page >

Proposed Bike Licensing in Saskatoon: Thoughts

Notices
Western Canada Alberta | British Columbia | Manitoba | Northwest Territories | Nunavut | Saskatchewan | Yukon Territory

Proposed Bike Licensing in Saskatoon: Thoughts

Old 03-31-10, 09:56 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 410

Bikes: Montague Folding/E-Bike, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Proposed Bike Licensing in Saskatoon: Thoughts

A few weeks back while I was at work, I happened upon an article about a proposal to reintroduce bike licensing in Saskatoon. I had mixed feelings about this idea.

On the one hand, I would be in favor of paying $10 a year or something, particularly if that money went to improving Saskatoon's bicycle infrastructure.

On the other hand, I also see some potential that this would prevent some people from even trying out cycling, or reducing their cycling to nil because they do not want to pay to ride their bikes.

Also, what do you do with out of town riders coming through Saskatoon (especially if that Transcanada path gets finished which I believe is supposed to connect to the path running along Spadina which could bring in more out of town cyclists)? Ticket them because they don't have Saskatoon bicycle plates? There would need to be something in place to account for this.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I would also see a bit of potential for drivers to busy themselves reporting cyclists for being on the road (or making things up) as a way to harass us. On the other hand, it would give more cyclists incentive to follow the rules of the road if license plates allowed them to be identified by police.

At the end of the day, if this was mandated and wasn't an excessive cost to me per year, I do not think I would complain about it, or oppose it because I see enough potential for it to be of use.

What are your thoughts?
Sir Lunch-a-lot is offline  
Old 03-31-10, 11:06 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
While I see registration systems as being something that can be thrown back at the usual motorist taunt of "paying for the road," the fact is that it's bad news for cycling. (And really, I think the proper approach with such motorists is to kindly offer to only use the 90%ish of the road paid for through general revenues)

It does reduce the uptake of cycling, which is most certainly the worst thing. It also has enforcement issues generally, and no obvious way to allow for people passing through. But mostly, it's simply offensive, and comes from the fallacious thinking that drivers pay for the roads through gas taxes and registration fees. Those taxes barely offset their costs at all. Given the reduced wear and tear on the roads caused by cyclists, a reasonable fee to offset the same share of the road budget would be well under a dollar per year (I can't find Saskatoon's budget info online, but generally something in the 40-50 cent range would likely be accurate). Charging more isn't just equal treatment for bikes, it's absolute bike discrimination.

What cities should be doing is encouraging cycling, instead of discouraging it. Every trip taken by bike instead of car reduces the need for road maintenance. Enough people on bikes can reduce the absolute need for infrastructure as well. Bike infrastructure costs peanuts compared to roads; if building infrastructure for bikes can eliminate the need for a single overpass on some road in your city, it has been a profitable venture.
neil is offline  
Old 04-01-10, 10:02 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
hshearer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Neil, I agre 100% with everything you said. Well put.

Also, any revenue from the license (assuming there is any, after admin costs), would be a pittance. If it costs $30,000 to put a bit of paint on some roads downtown, a couple bucks from each cyclist in a city of 200,000 isn't going to get us very far. Right now the city is also thinking about implementng a recyling program, at an annual cost of roughly $6 million a year. Now if THAT kind of money was invested in cycling infrastucture, even for one year, our bike plan could be completed 3 times over. I'd be interested to know which program would be better for the environment, and I think I'd put my money on investing n cycling before investing in recycling, although I'm probably being biased.
hshearer is offline  
Old 04-01-10, 12:14 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 410

Bikes: Montague Folding/E-Bike, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by hshearer
I'd be interested to know which program would be better for the environment, and I think I'd put my money on investing n cycling before investing in recycling, although I'm probably being biased.
It's hard to say if more cycling infrastructure would immediately be better for the environment than improved recycling. If more people used the cycling infrastructure right off the bat, then yes it would be. That being said, I think they ought to contribute more to both.
Sir Lunch-a-lot is offline  
Old 04-02-10, 08:25 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Potashville
Posts: 1,079

Bikes: Reynolds 531P road bike, Rocky Mountain Metropolis, Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10, Look 566

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Calgary had bike licences way back in the 60s and early 70s. Supposedly it would make it easier for the police to return your bike to you if it were lost or stolen... yah, right. As if it would never occur to a bike thief to take a wrench and remove it.
If they were suggesting licenses for bike riders, that would be one thing, but most serious cyclists have more than one machine. I'd like to see some evidence that the money is actually used for something and not just a cash grab.
Rhodabike is offline  
Old 04-02-10, 08:31 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Potashville
Posts: 1,079

Bikes: Reynolds 531P road bike, Rocky Mountain Metropolis, Rocky Mountain Sherpa 10, Look 566

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by neil
...It does reduce the uptake of cycling, which is most certainly the worst thing. It also has enforcement issues generally, and no obvious way to allow for people passing through. But mostly, it's simply offensive, and comes from the fallacious thinking that drivers pay for the roads through gas taxes and registration fees. Those taxes barely offset their costs at all. Given the reduced wear and tear on the roads caused by cyclists, a reasonable fee to offset the same share of the road budget would be well under a dollar per year (I can't find Saskatoon's budget info online, but generally something in the 40-50 cent range would likely be accurate)...What cities should be doing is encouraging cycling, instead of discouraging it. Every trip taken by bike instead of car reduces the need for road maintenance. Enough people on bikes can reduce the absolute need for infrastructure as well. Bike infrastructure costs peanuts compared to roads; if building infrastructure for bikes can eliminate the need for a single overpass on some road in your city, it has been a profitable venture.
Speaking of wear and tear, what's up with those patches of road that have disintegrated into gravel? Not just side roads, but a big chunk of 8th street down near Preston Avenue. I've seen potholes large enough to swallow small cars in Calgary, but nothing like the disappearing asphalt thing. Did they not make them right in the first place?
Rhodabike is offline  
Old 04-02-10, 10:02 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 410

Bikes: Montague Folding/E-Bike, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Well, you see, the gravel is what we call a "patch". Once enough traffic drives over it, the pressure melts the gravel and it forms pavement. This is how we fix our roads on a budget in Saskatchewan.

Seriously, though, the one patch I am aware of on 8th is closer to Broadway (westbound) where they have/had a lane or few closed for some sort of work they were doing there. Is this gravel near Preston you speak of on the East-bound lanes?

From what I have heard, when many potholes are patched, the fix is only temporary because they tend to be fixed with loose cold asphalt, allowing water to still get in and cause erosion under the pavement, causing it to collapse and get worse. Or something roughly to that effect. If roads are not packed adequately when built, they also tend to deteriorate quickly.
Sir Lunch-a-lot is offline  
Old 04-03-10, 08:39 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
trustnoone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Edmonton AB
Posts: 520

Bikes: 2011 Colnago World Cup, 2012 Eddy Merckx AMX-2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, the question that has to be asked is "What the F*** for?" Maybe the extra few hundred dollars into general revenue could go into snow removal for the third of the year that cycling in uncomfortable. The office space, staff, materials and incidentals to collect and issue registrations would probably cost Saskatoon several hundred thousand dollars a year. What's the percentage of trips made by bike? 3% maybe. 8000 regular non recreational cyclists. 80 to 100K in registration fees. Doesn't sound like a going concern to me. In fact, it's such a bad idea IMO governments will be forces to bring licensing into effect all across the country.

Talk of registration makes me wish petrol hits $4/L
trustnoone is offline  
Old 04-04-10, 12:39 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Sir Lunch-a-lot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 410

Bikes: Montague Folding/E-Bike, Kuwahara

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by trustnoone
Talk of registration makes me wish petrol hits $4/L
Well, that certainly would make me feel great as I ride to work. I'd be saving close on $20/day instead of $10. And if my pay went up to take into account fuel costs... that would be even more money in my pocket.

I think the StarPhoenix article said that one of the reasons was to help with bike identification after theft, which as has been mentioned is stupid since a license plate can be removed. That was definitely my first response when reading it. On the other hand, there are some thefts in which people go for a joyride and then trash and/or abandon the bike. In those circumstances it could aid in recovery. But serial numbers may be more useful with that.
Sir Lunch-a-lot is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.