How to Kill Cycling in Toronto

You can solve a whole bunch of problems – at least partially – with bicycles: global warming, obesity, traffic gridlock, urban sprawl and so on. Which is why I was so vexed to see Toronto City Councilor Michael Walker proposing that cyclists be licensed. Huh? I’ve been riding a bicycle since I was six! How does a six year-old pass a driving test? The way in which most people acquire the skills needed to cycle in a big city is far too organic to fit with a licensing regime. You start out young, you ride around the block – often on the sidewalk at first. This is how cycling is passed on and I fear that some governmental regime will only kill off interest in cycling both as commuting and recreation. As I listened to Walker explain his proposal on the CBC this morning I concluded that he was either insane or he actually has no idea what cycling is.


6 responses to “How to Kill Cycling in Toronto

  1. I would hate to be a Trans-Canada cyclist only to be held up at the Pickering-Toronto international border in order to be questioned by a Toronto immigration guard checking for the proper City of Toronto licence to operate a bicycle within the city limits.

  2. This is but one more example of the nanny-state gone wild in Ontario.
    Instead of being a Trans-Canada cyclist being held up, how about a Trans-Canada motorcyclist being stopped at the Ontario border to make sure his or her passenger is over the (totally arbitrary) age of 14. Ontario’s Bill 117 would do just that.
    Every time someone complains that “the politicians have to do something”, they unfortunately do! And we end up with this nonsense.

  3. Canajun,

    The bicycle licensing in Toronto is a reaction by some right-wing councillors to some advances made recently by the cycling community.

    There’s always progress to be made politically, and enough upkeep regardless, so I doubt that this is just busywork. It’s always part of an agenda.

  4. Michael Walker used to be on the left wing of council (though with a bit of an independent streak) and now he seems to have gone completely crazy because he still talks like he cares about progressive things (he claims he wants more cycling in the city) but he’s become the right wing’s useful idiot on council.

  5. all cyclists should be shot on the spot

  6. He’s not insane. He’s either a brilliant person who will want to run for mayor, or he’s simply trying to keep his name out in front of the public for re-election by getting on the radio. Remember that he’s using the excuse of “Safety” to push this. That’s the same excuse that being used to push this petition asking to get bikes off the road.

    The correct reaction was to create a counter petition, like this

    The correct response to Walker is to ask for licences that actually mean something, especially when people get killed by so-called licensed drivers. And to actually revoke licenses from bad drivers. We let convicted psychopaths kill people on the road because motor vehicle accidents where people are killed are, somehow “normal.”
    But riding a bike isn’t.

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