Thursday, December 27, 2007

Please comment: Should Bicyclists Be Licensed To Ride

Well, this sort of spoiled my holiday.

I'm worried about my blood pressure, so I haven't read the article yet, and God knows, I dread reading the Sound-Offs. But I have been lurking in the sewer that is PI's Sound-Offs for the past six months, trying to digest what the arguments are for anti-cycling policies. So I can pretty much guess what the article is about, and what the Sound-Offs will be.

But apart from the content of the article or the Sound-Offs, what strikes me is that there's a meanness in this world that makes people, when they are distressed, seek out and attack the weakest, rather than the cause of their distress. Our leaders did it when we invaded Iraq, and people in the Puget Sound area, chafing at growing traffic congestion, deteriorating infrastructure, and the taxes required to support it, are doing it when they turn on cyclists.

More after I read the article. But I encourage you all to respond, one way or another.


Kevin Connors said...

Funny, as I read the article, I realized that it was really a lobby against licensing bikes. Amazingly, someone at the DOT looked into bike licensing already and came to the obvious conclusion that it was a waste of time and resources. Then the example of how the bike lobby in Wisconsin drove their licensing program into the ditch really convinced me that this article was probably written or sponsored by Cascade... Nice work!

But what's this thing about the "weakest"? The anti-cycling community hates cyclists because they are stronger! At least that's what I have convinced myself explains their constant intentional "close calls".

Ted Diamond said...

Well, yeah, ultimately, the conclusion seems to be that cyclists shouldn't be licensed. And this is reinforced by yesterday's PI editorial. However, what disturbs me is the timing of these editorials. They just came out of the blue. I wrote the editorial writer, and asked her what prompted her to write her piece at this time. She said the issue is "timeless", but I also got the sense that there's a high volume of letter-writing by cycling opponents. It may be paranoia to think this is a concerted letter-writing campaign, but hey, I'm paranoid.