Council Member Tom LaBonge Responds to Streetsblog’s Bike Licensing Story

Yesterday, Council Member Tom LaBonge called to follow-up on our bicycle licensing story from Monday.

Labonge took issue with a couple of parts of the story, both that we reached out for comment several times (it seems to be a communications issue between me and their office team) and that outreach for the proposal is sub-par. It’s not sub-par the Council Member argues, it just hasn’t happened yet.

Councilman LaBonge poses with cyclists before his office's "Positively 4th Street" bike ride in 2008. Photo: Tom LaBonge.com

The Council Member stated:

The one key that I wanted to express to you is that government runs on statistics.

You can say you don’t want a license, Michelle Mowery doesn’t want a license, DOT doesn’t want a license.But unless there are numbers…when we have numbers it always backs you up.

In issues of theft and recovery, in issues of injury and accident, especially solo riders having some way to contact family, it (licenses) can be helpful.

We always work with community organizations. When we introduce motions at Council we don’t just rush it through, we have outreach.

There’s one comment…”We’re honestly just puzzled by this proposal, which was resurrected with zero input from bicyclists,” writes Eric Bruins from the county coalition.

The county coalition has a place in every discussion that’s taking place on bicycles right now and they will be discussed with.

We thank the Council Member for reaching out to us, and we’ll be sure to speak with him if and when this proposal moves forward.