By Joel P. Engardio : sfexaminer – excerpt
Bicyclists in San Francisco should have to register their bike, obtain a license and carry a minimum amount of liability insurance — the same requirements for driving a car.
We have one set of roads long dominated by automobiles. But as a growing number of bicycle commuters assert political power to get their own lanes, they need to put some skin in the game. If cars and bikes are going to share city roads — which is where the future is headed — the responsibility for safe co-existence should also be shared.
Mandatory registration, license and insurance could ease ongoing resentments between cyclists and motorists. Cyclists will get more protection while motorists will be glad they aren’t alone in being held accountable on the road.
Before protesters on bikes jeer at me for suggesting this idea, they should know I’m pro-bike. I even rode my bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles for charity. I share a car with my husband but mostly take public transportation and walk — and we live on the westside, in the “suburban” part of town near Stonestown Mall, where cars and parking spaces are still abundant.
Before my neighbors accuse me of undermining westside entitlement to drive and park, they should know I support putting parking garages with ground floor retail in neighborhood business districts.
And before transit-first urbanists get mad, they should know that I’m an advocate for investing in the subways and transportation infrastructure we regret not building decades ago. But until we get that world-class transportation system, we can’t pretend Muni is the Paris Metro…(more)
Good arguments for sharing responsibility for safety on the streets. Good reason for a balanced transportation plan. Very good idea to phase in the changes. The pace of change is largely responsible for the anger on the streets.