This is a copy my letter to the Mayor and all City and Metro Councillorsasking for a 10-9 Day proclamation.

Help bring 10-9 Day to more cities. Write a letter to your local politicians.All they can say is no.

Mayor Barbara Hall City Hall,

100 Queen St. E.

Toronto, ON.

September 25, 1997

Dear Mayor Hall,

My name is Joe Hendry. I am the Bicycle Courier Industry Representativeon the Toronto City Cycling Committee. I am writing on behalf of Toronto's500 bicycle messengers to bring your attention to International MessengerAppreciation Day. The premise of which is that individual cities aroundthe world recognize the contributions made by bicycle messengers. It iscelebrated on October 9 (or 10-9) every year and involves no costs to thecity, merely some kind of proclamation or recognition.

In San Francisco, a few years ago a mayoral proclamation decreed thatOctober 9 of every year would be Messenger Appreciation Day. October 9is "10-9" in radio code and means "Say again" or "What?"10-9 Day is celebrated informally all over the world. This year effortsto formally recognize messengers' contributions are under way, not onlyhere in Toronto, but also in other cities around the world.

Toronto's more than fifty (bike) courier companies employ over 500 bikemessengers to deliver an estimated 1.2 million deliveries every year. Thishas resulted in a need for approximately 2500 fewer cars in the downtowncore every day.

So let's acknowledge some of the many benefits bicycle couriers bringto our city :

A Bike Messenger Appreciation Day declared by the city will bring attentionto the efforts of couriers, and courier companies to promote professionalismand safety in the industry. It will legitimize the profession and promoteboth bike culture and courier culture. This day will focus attention oncycling at a time of year when people are thinking about putting theirbikes away for the winter. This added attention may be used to promotewinter cycling and to promote the use of bikes in other areas of the economy.It will also promote CAN-BIKE, S.P.A.C.E., safe cycling and the Movingthe Econmy Internationational Conference (Economic opportunities in sustainabletransportation to be held in Toronto June 18-21, 1998).

Messenger Appreciation Day may explore more ways for messengers to contributefurther to the community. They could aid charities, foster relationshipswith other bike groups, transportation groups and environmental agencies.

It is inevitable that professional cyclists such as bicycle couriersare looked upon as role models. They "colour the urban environment"and have developed their own cultural identity. Their influences on fashion,music, film and art are well documented. Their contributions to the livingand working environments in the city deserve attention too.

Longtime, professional couriers acknowledge the value of developingskills and promoting safety for all road users yet it is the shortcomingsof a small minority of messengers that dominate public perceptions. Itis time that the positive aspects of bicycle couriers are recognized tobring balance to the steroetyped images the public has of these enviornmentallyfriendly and hardworking souls.


Joe Hendry

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