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  1. #1
    Senior Member hotbike's Avatar
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    Bicycle License Plates

    Somebody wrote this , and it appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...,1201878.story

    Quote:

    "Bicycle plates could be new revenue stream
    1:29 PM CDT, July 17, 2008
    As bicycles become utility vehicles rather than recreational - as in the past - I think it is time they become licensed replete with small plates on their rear fenders or seats. Even a short test could be given to ensure rules of the road are understood. Much of riders' bravado stems from their lack of identity. With a number on the rear of their bikes, they can easily be identified. A small sum of five dollars per bike would be reasonable. Registration could be done at their local aldermanic offices where in fact, voter registration can be done too.

    It could be a new revenue stream helping to fund our Olympic goals. Bike riding is a sport too. Yet with so many riders skimming pass pedestrians and through intersections daily, this method of identification will allow them the same status and limitations of motor vehicles. It will cut pedestrians some slack in walking and crossing thoroughfares safely too.

    --Vincent Kamin

    Chicago"
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11629987@N02/sets/72157639939606343/

  2. #2
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Moved to A&S
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2003 Trek 7300
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  3. #3
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
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    When i live in Hawaii in Honolulu we had the have a bike registration.

    I walked out of a store and someone had put another lock on my bike. I called 911 police showed up machted MY ID with my bike reg and cut the lock.

    So i am kinda for this. Its not all bad.
    Cars make you weak.

  4. #4
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by st0ut View Post
    When i live in Hawaii in Honolulu we had the have a bike registration.

    I walked out of a store and someone had put another lock on my bike. I called 911 police showed up machted MY ID with my bike reg and cut the lock.

    So i am kinda for this. Its not all bad.
    Just curious, why would someone put another lock on your bike?

  5. #5
    L T X B O M P F A N S R apricissimus's Avatar
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    One thing I do like about the idea of license plates for bikes is that it removes the complete lack of accountability that cyclists now have. So if someone does something really stupid, like ride the wrong way down the street (which happens somewhat frequently) they are not totally anonymous.

    That said, I really don't think license plates would change the behavior of cyclists (assuming cyclists behavior needs changing). Motorists commit minor infractions all the time... Why would anyone expect cyclists to be different? And police can't be everywhere. People's habits would remain the same.

    And what would stop someone from just riding without a plate? Does anyone think that police would really be interested in chasing plateless bikes?

  6. #6
    genec genec's Avatar
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    The biggest problem is it tends to be a city wide program, unlike auto tags which are statewide.

  7. #7
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    if they are doing it to make revenue, it will fail miserably. Every study I've seen has shown the administration of the program will cost much more than any "reasonable" fee imposed.

    If they think it will magically make every cyclist in the city start obeying the law, they are fooling themselves there too. Just look at the auto drivers. They are required to get plates, yet actual 100% adherence to the law never happens.

    If they are proposing it just to stick it to the cyclists, then mission accomplished. If a cop pulls you over on a bike, you still have to produce id if asked. If you don't have it and lie, you will go to jail.

  8. #8
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    I think this dovetails nicely with the scofflaw cyclist thread from earlier.
    It's such a Nanny/Police state mentality that is expressed by most folks who are in favor of such programs. I have nothing against licensing bikes and cyclists, but the proponents of such measures always talk about "reporting" errant cyclists. Do these same drivers "report" on every motorist they see changing lanes without signaling or speeding ten over the limit? I would seriously doubt it. In the manner that the issue is expressed in this instance it seems nothing more than a motorist trying to keep cyclists in their place.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  9. #9
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    Just curious, why would someone put another lock on your bike?
    It's a way of stealing bikes. Lock it, the owner has no choice but to leave it, the thief can then return later when no one is around (at night, when businesses close, etc.).

  10. #10
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    35 years ago, we had to have little adhesive stickers -- bicycle licenses -- on our bikes in Ft. Wayne. The Fire Dept. would give the bike a safety inspection, collect the $1 fee, and give you the sticker. You applied it while they watched.

    I thought it was an inconvenience, but back then, there was no question of civil disobedience; any action the authorities took were insignificant compared to parental action!! So it was just 'to be done'.

    Of course, back then, road rage was all but unknown; drivers DID share the road. I rode in the street daily, and almost never had an issue (one driver in about three years). It didn't seem an issue then.

    Now, it's doubtful it would do anything but exacerbate the problems we're facing; bike licensing would be a money-loser, ineffective, and useless in the face of raging cagers.

  11. #11
    Spin my crank rallykid's Avatar
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    Mackinac Island (Michigan) has the option to register bikes with an Island "plate" which is actually a sticker. The police will have the license number and the serial number of the bike on file. It only costs like $5 for the year so it is not bad. The bad part is that if you don't purchase a license and your bike is stolen the police will not look for it.
    You've very successfully put 2 and 2 together and gotten a beaver. You're so far off the mark that you've left numbers altogether and entered addition with mammals.

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    Just curious, why would someone put another lock on your bike?
    It is also a technique used by shopping mall security guards and school administrators to enforce their bicycle parking preferences.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed quote
    If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them
    -George Orwell
    Well, with that said, I, with some embarrassment, must admit that I couldn't have said the following better myself:

    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed View Post
    I think this dovetails nicely with the scofflaw cyclist thread from earlier.
    It's such a Nanny/Police state mentality that is expressed by most folks who are in favor of such programs. I have nothing against licensing bikes and cyclists, but the proponents of such measures always talk about "reporting" errant cyclists. Do these same drivers "report" on every motorist they see changing lanes without signaling or speeding ten over the limit? I would seriously doubt it. In the manner that the issue is expressed in this instance it seems nothing more than a motorist trying to keep cyclists in their place.
    +1

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rallykid View Post
    Mackinac Island (Michigan) has the option to register bikes with an Island "plate" which is actually a sticker. The police will have the license number and the serial number of the bike on file. It only costs like $5 for the year so it is not bad. The bad part is that if you don't purchase a license and your bike is stolen the police will not look for it.
    any indication that they actually look for bikes WITH the sticker?

    Most police dept's barely respond to vehicle thefts.

  15. #15
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    Lansing, Michigan's police SURE don't respond to bike thefts.

  16. #16
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    I can see this being marginally usefull from a bicyclist perspective.

    In japan the situation is pretty good. I believe you have to have a bike registered when you buy it, but bike theft is treated very similarly to car theft. Of course, crime in general in japan is super low, and most peoples idea of "locking" their bike is a little locking ring next to the rear brake.

    The proposed "save the bicyclists from themselves" thing is ********. Licenses wouldnt get anyone to change their biking behavior...

  17. #17
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed View Post
    ...but the proponents of such measures always talk about "reporting" errant cyclists. Do these same drivers "report" on every motorist they see changing lanes without signaling or speeding ten over the limit? I would seriously doubt it. In the manner that the issue is expressed in this instance it seems nothing more than a motorist trying to keep cyclists in their place.
    Or when the issue is proposed/advocated on BF- nothing more than Super Nanny/Smugster Bicyclists trying to keep the Other Cyclists (AKA cyclists with a different profile than their own) in their place.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dmac49's Avatar
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    If anyone is naive enough to believe our legislators will focus the monies raised from bicycle licensing towards anything related to the bicycling sport should look at NY's LOTTO. Enabling politicians with more money is the same as enabling an alcoholic with another drink. Neither works well.
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
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  19. #19
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rallykid View Post
    Mackinac Island (Michigan) has the option to register bikes with an Island "plate" which is actually a sticker. The police will have the license number and the serial number of the bike on file. It only costs like $5 for the year so it is not bad. The bad part is that if you don't purchase a license and your bike is stolen the police will not look for it.
    While I am against the idea of bike license plates, I do like this idea; sort of a low-tech LowJack approach. I just don't want Big Brother telling me I have to get a permit simply because I choose a different lifestyle (in this case, mode of transportation).

    To paraphrase New Hampshire's state motto, "Ride free or die"!
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    You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much -- Bill Hicks

  20. #20
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    You license a privilidge, like driving a motor vehicle. You do not license a right, like using a human powered vehicle.
    Not too much to say here

  21. #21
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
    You license a privilidge, like driving a motor vehicle. You do not license a right, like using a human powered vehicle.
    Amen, brother.
    Owner/operator of Fredkenstein™ I
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    You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much -- Bill Hicks

  22. #22
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    putting a license plate on a bike....

    you guys are actually cyclists, and you think this is a good idea?

    let me guess, you don't like to ride very fast, do you?

  23. #23
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    If it is to our advantage to take another bullet out of the anti-cyclists guns then is it ultimately to our advantage to license the bike just like any other vehicle on the road?

  24. #24
    An Army of Fred harleyfrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloGeezer View Post
    putting a license plate on a bike....

    you guys are actually cyclists, and you think this is a good idea?

    let me guess, you don't like to ride very fast, do you?
    I would support it, but only under the following conditions:
    • it would be voluntary, not required;
    • the "license" would be used to help track down/verify stolen bicycles;
    • that any profit (which, most likely, there will not be any) go back to improve bicycling infrastructure (signage, bike lanes, bike boxes, etc.


    Otherwise, hell no.
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    You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace. Thank you very much -- Bill Hicks

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    If it is to our advantage to take another bullet out of the anti-cyclists guns then is it ultimately to our advantage to license the bike just like any other vehicle on the road?
    do you honestly think that will happen? I just see a slippery slope and no matter what cyclists do (outside of getting off the road altogether), nothing will appease the angry motorist.

    Once we get licensed, they will demand that we buy mandatory insurance.
    Then they will demand that we get our bikes inspected once a year (if cars have to do it, why not bikes?).
    Then they will demand some kind of special tax on the bikes because we "don't pay gas taxes, yet still use the roads!".

    It will never end. Appeasement is not the answer.

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