Re: [messengers] Issue of licensing

Date: 9 Jul 2011 01:21:25 +0200
From: Michael Dodd <mikeydodds@xxxxxxxxx>

Silly idea,  that seems to come and go.

There have been a few recent studies from from streetcapes similar to
philadelphia that have shown most cycling accidents occur while cyclists are
obeying road rules. That would suggest cyclist behaviour is not the issue.
What cyclists need is quality infrastructure and road rules that protect
vulnerable road users and allow them to avoid the danger that is

The world wide trend is: the better the infrastructure is for people
(pedestrians and cyclists) the better people behave. Generally cycling
friendly cities are world leaders in road safety. That includes the safety
of pedestrians and motorists. (i wouldn't call philly a cyclist friendly

Links to articles on the studies are:

This is an old email that was sent in regards to the idea of licensing
Toronto couriers. We were of the opinion that it was a grab for cash hence
the reference to money.

"There is no money to be made from licensing or registering *couriers*.

As far as registering *cyclists* goes; the administration costs associated
make it an unrealistic proposition, especially after considering the fact
that cyclists save councils money. Compared to automobile specific
infrastructure research has shown that effective cycling infrastructure
delivers a $4 return for every $1 spent.

Cycling is by far the best way to travel short distances and the healthiest
way to travel long. A high level of cycling participation is crucial towards
reducing the safety and congestion issues created by unnecessary motor
vehicle use.

Take Portland for example, Portland introduced the bicycle bill which
requires a minimum of 1% of total highway funding to go to cycling

A major bonus for that city is the statistic that shows, in a city of many
bridges it is the bike traffic that is expanding, while car numbers remain
the same. This means their bridges are still operating as well today for
cars as they did 20 years ago - that's huge for a growing  city trying to
manage transportation." Safety wise Portland's figures are also encouraging,
the number of cycling injuries and incidents are holding steady despite more
cyclists being on the road. Cyclists in Portland today are four times safer
than they were 10 years ago.

As far as having Skilled Messengers on the streets of Toronto goes, it comes
down to having better pay and fairer working conditions, if messengers get
treated better there will be more long term messengers and less transient,
unskilled cyclists working on Toronto's streets. Of course basic training is
still an issue. The City of Sydney provides a free cycling in the city
course, the Course is aimed at people who know how to ride bikes but lack
the confidence to ride in inner city traffic, this course is also available
to rookie couriers (should their company make it compulsory before allowing
them on the streets), it has limitations, but it does teach principles. This
course is partly taught by Veteran couriers, if the city of Toronto would
like to provide such a service to emerging cyclists/messengers I'm sure the
Toronto bicycle messenger association could point them in the right
direction by providing instructors.

Cyclists and couriers are not the danger on our streets, they are however in
close proximity to the danger that is created by automobiles. When you take
automobiles out of the equation streets become safe for people.
Cyclists included."

On Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 11:22 PM, Sterling Couriers <
sterlingcouriers@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> I'm in the process of writing a short paper on the problems with enforcing
> the licensing of bike messengers. Supposedly another council member here in
> Philly is toying with the idea again. This time we should be even more ready
> then last time.  Any articles, reports, anecdotes  would be helpful.
> Jorge
> sterlingcouriers@xxxxxxxxx
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