NPA councillor Melissa De Genova seeks bicycle licensing in Vancouver
Motor vehicles are required to have licence plates to help police identify dangerous drivers. So why isn't the same regulation in place for Vancouver bicycles?
It's a question that NPA councillor Melissa De Genova would like city staff to address.
On Tuesday (October 20), she'll introduce a motion asking bureaucrats to report back on the potential for a licensing program that would enable people to identify cyclists and other users of the city's roads and bikeways.
In a news release issued this morning, De Genova said it would also help police return stolen bikes to their owners.
There are more than 2,000 bikes taken every year in Vancouver.
De Genova's motion comes after a recent uproar over an incident involving a cyclist allegedly running a stop sign on the city's West Side.
He later ended up in a confrontation with a pregnant woman, who wrote about her experience on Facebook.
The cyclist was only identified by a photo taken at the scene.
"There are many instances daily where pedestrians and vehicles come into conflict," De Genova said. "And with more bikes on the roads, incidents involving cyclists and pedestrians, and incidents involving cyclists and vehicles, are becoming more frequent. We need to address that."
The advocacy group Bike Calgary has a lengthy post on its website dismissing arguments for bicycle licensing, saying they "have little merit".
Bike Calgary maintains that it would "unlikely to be enforced or or unenforceable, expensive to administer, unnecessary, and above all an additional barrier to cycling".
According to the post, bicycle licensing has been reviewed by many cities, including Toronto, which had rules in place from 1935 to 1957.