One Person in Brooklyn, and Another in Queens Think Bicycle Registration Would Be Good

01/19/2011 12:03 PM |

Bike license plates.

Could the next chapter in the 2011 bike wars (about which, you might’ve noticed, we feel strongly) be the licensing and registration of all bicycles in New York City? This one city councilman in Queens thinks so; so does this community board member in Park Slope. The rest of us realize how dumb this idea is, right?

Right after a New Jersey assemblywoman advanced and then immediately withdrew a proposal to put license plates on all her state’s bicycles, Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) told the Post he was shopping around a measure that would require all adult cyclists in New York City to have their bicycles stamped with an ID tag. Part of his justification, aside from the unlikely recovery of stolen bicycles, is that cyclists can’t be held responsible in accidents as they rarely carry identification because “they’re in Spandex or whatnot.” (Clothes made of Spandex, you may not know, are notoriously and universally pocket-less.) Beyond those hilariously dubious claims, the plans benefits are nil, and the costs of implementing it would be immense, so who on earth would think that something like this is a good idea?

Park Sloper and Community Board 6 member Nica Lalli would. She tells the Brooklyn Paper‘s Gary Buiso that CB6’s Transportation Committee will be looking over her proposal to make all cyclists register their rides with the city. Her logic goes: “I have to register my dog, my car, I think people should have to register their bicycles, too.”

In addition to making it easier to ticket cyclists, the registration fee plan would generate a lil’ extra revenue for the state, but it would also cost a bundle to launch such a program, and generally be a nuisance to cyclists everywhere. (Imagine giving your daughter her first bicycle, and then taking her to the DMV to get her first bicycle license plate—hours of fun!) It might also pose problems for the countless undocumented immigrants in New York City whose livelihoods depend on their bicycles. A new solution to the current, sad state of bicycle law enforcement in this city is certainly needed, but this ain’t it. (Gothamist, photo plangently/Flickr)

One Comment

  • Absolutely bikes should be registered…and insured. They can fly by at speeds above 30 MPH and run over and kill someone, particularly a small child or an elderly person. Dusting oneself off and saying, “Jeez….sorry about killing your kid back there. Here…you can have my Starbucks card. I think there’s enough prepaid for a Venti. Ciao.”….doesn’t quite cut it.