Cyclists, not just drivers, dangerous

The Editor,

Re. “Should cyclists be licensed and taxed?” (Face to Face, The Tri-City News, Jan. 10).

I totally agree with Face to Face columnist Andy Radia’s view: Cyclists should pay and be licensed, and bikes should have licence plates.

I dread going to Vancouver’s West End now or even walking on Brunette Avenue in Coquitlam. I have been hit from behind by a speeding cyclist on the sidewalk who then shouted profanities at me for not walking on the side and not moving to get out of his way. He ruined my trench coat and left a huge bruise on my leg.

With no licence plate, how could I lay charges? So, yes, Jim Nelson, cyclists can be dangerous.

Property owners, motorists and transit users pay for bike lanes while cyclists pay zip. A $25-to-$30 licence fee with bike plate is not unreasonable. And how difficult would it really be for the Motor Vehicle Branch to add a new category?

Cyclists should be fined for not wearing helmets, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, causing traffic accidents, driving on sidewalks, and threatening and harming pedestrians. Bike bells should also be mandatory. If bikes have plates, it would be easy to identify the culprits; now we have nothing except a fleeting description.

I am against big government but fair is fair.

M.R. Olson, Coquitlam




Editor’s note: The letter writer states, “Property owners, motorists and transit users pay for bike lanes while cyclists pay zip.”  This is a common misconception. Actually, as the vast majority of bike lines are paid for by cities, they are paid for using property tax revenue. And as virtually all adults pay property taxes — either directly or through rent — cyclists, drivers and walkers alike all contribute to the cost of bike lanes and other city amenities, including roads, sidewalks and rec centres.



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