As if the already-overblown New York City bike wars really needed to escalate to the state level, assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-Queens) has introduced a bill in Albany that, if passed, would require all recreational bicycles in the state to be registered much like cars. Predictably the Post is all for it, as well as another bill DenDekker has introduced regarding insurance for “commercial” bicycles.
If adopted, the bill would require all bicycles in the state used for recreational cycling to be registered and display rear license plates. DenDekker’s bill suggests the fee would be $25 for the first year, and $5 for every subsequent year. “Commercial” bicycles—meaning deliverymen and, presumably, bike messengers—would pay $50 for registration. A separate bill proposed by the assemblyman would also require these commercial cyclists to get bike insurance. In light of how many deliverymen are in the United States illegally, there are all kinds of problems with this proposal beyond the obvious, “but officer I’m just teaching my daughter how to ride a bike in the park,” scenario. And then of course there are the people outside New York City, far from the hysterics of anti-bike reactionaries, who will presumably scoff at this absurd proposal.
Similarly myopic is the bill’s unfortunately typical categorization of cyclists as either recreational riders or deliverymen. What about the thousands and constantly increasing number of daily bicycle commuters? No word on when DenDekker’s insane bike registration bills are slated to be voted on, but let’s hope that’s the last we ever hear of them. (Curbed, Photo)