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MCAC: Bicycle Licensing Position Paper

MCAC has recommended to Council that bicycle licensing NOT be considered in the City of Mississauga.  MCAC’s position paper was adopted by Council on April 11, 2012, and states:

The goals of the Mississauga Cycling Master Plan are to foster a culture where cycling is an everyday activity, build an integrated on-road and off-road cycling network as part of a multi-modal transportation system, and adopt a safety-first approach to cycling.  The Cycling Master Plan is in alignment with the City’s Strategic Plan, particularly the pillars of MOVE, CONNECT and LIVING GREEN.

As this relates to free and unrestricted transportation choices, we feel that bicycle licensing would not be in alignment with the City’s Strategic Plan.  In fact we believe that a licensing requirement for bicycles would be viewed as a deterrence to bicycle use.

Theft deterrence  From a theft perspective, bike licenses can easily be removed from a stolen bike.  Licensing would not provide an effective theft deterrence.  As an alternative there are databases available where bike owners can register their bikes and where police can then find the proper owner of a recovered bicycle.

Minors  How would the city enforce licensing of children’s bikes?

Visiting cyclists  How would the city enforce licensing of non-residents.  Would they spot check ID’s?

Costs  Does the bureaucracy justify the potential revenue?  The cost to administer such a program and maintain a database would be significant.

Precedents  For many of the reasons stated above, no major cities currently have bike licensing policies in force.

In summary, we feel that the best approach to safe cycling is to focus attention and resources on education and infrastructure not on regulation.  It is the position of MCAC that bicycle licensing would not serve to advance the goals of the Cycling Master Plan or the overall Strategic Plan for the City of Mississauga.

Photo: 1940s – A boy examines his new bicycle license.  Source:

3 comments to MCAC: Bicycle Licensing Position Paper

  • WL

    I would only support the licensing of bicycles if 100% of the money was spent on design and construction of road sharing bicycle projects for roads identified as major transportation routes by traffic statistics. I.e. Mavis, Hurontario, Dixie, Winston Churchill, Erin Mills, Dundas, Brittania, Queensway, etc.

    In addition, licensing money must not be a component of any administration, marketing, etc. related to planning by city employees or council. Planning should be supported if not addressed by a council of volunteers without conflict to roles held in politics or city employment.

    Just my two cents.

  • Irene Gabon

    Cyclists should be licensed and have to take a test, as long as they are using public highways, roads. Who pays for the extended lanes and white paint? Bah, humbug.
    City should pass a bylaw and province should amend the Ontario Highway Traffic Act to include bikes. Safety , not pleasure, first!

  • Mia

    Thank you City of Mississauga for NOt licensing the use of bicycle! And i dont see the need for it esp. If you are just using it for physical activity, to go around the neighborhood to stroll with your child or if you dont want to spend for busfare or gasoline esp if the place you are going to is not that far…you only not help people like me but also lessen the pollution in our environment.thank you

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