Tuesday, June 10, 2008

There is Power in a Union

The Christian Science Monitor: In Toronto, cyclists form a first-of-its-kind union.

It would be like CAA (Canadian Automobile Association), in that it would offer roadside assistance. I wonder if the roadside assistors would arrive via bicycle or automobile? The Cyclist Union also plans to offer insurance. I'm not sure if it includes liability or collision coverage. What I'd be interested in is some kind of theft insurance. All of this (roadside assistance, insurance) is provided for a $24 annual fee so it's hard to say.

But the primary goal of the Union is

"[to] give a voice to urban cyclists who use their bikes in their daily lives as a mode of transportation," explains David Meslin, founder of the Toronto Cyclists Union. "Cyclists don't feel safe on the streets, and if they know there is a group fighting for safer conditions, I believe a lot more will join."
So the main purpose of this Union is advocacy on cyclists' behalf. Also from the article:
Believed to be a global first, the union already has enrolled hundreds of card-carrying members since it formed in May.
But it sounds a lot like the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (established in 1998) to me:
The VACC advocates for better conditions for cyclists, and the removal of barriers to cycling. We achieve our objectives by meeting with governing agencies at all levels, writing well-researched, proactive letters and reports, working constructively with the media, and encouraging more people to cycle more often.


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