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LB looking to end mandatory bicycle registration

Old 12-15-10, 07:13 PM
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LB looking to end mandatory bicycle registration

I thought this might be of interest to some.

LB Press Telegram link

LONG BEACH - The City Council wants to put the brakes on mandatory bicycle registrations in Long Beach.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to have City Manager Pat West report within

30 days on the feasibility, costs and benefits of eliminating Long Beach's bicycle registration requirement.

The proposal by Councilman Robert Garcia is intended to make the 35-year-old registration law only voluntary.

The bigger picture goal is to improve Long Beach's reputation among cyclists in a city that touts itself as "the most bicycle-friendly city in America."

Long Beach became a target of criticism after an Oct. 29 incident in which police officers stopped dozens of cyclists participating in a "Critical Mass" group ride to raise awareness for bicycles' rights to the road. The riders were cited for traffic violations, such as running stop signs, as well as for not having licensed bicycles in some cases, and some of the bicycles were impounded.

Although several bicycle advocates rehashed the incident and criticized the police action Tuesday, Garcia defended the department.

"Our police are doing the best they can with the laws that we provide them," Garcia said.

However, it is up to the council to change those laws when they don't work, he said.

"This (bicycle registration) requirement ... is not convenient to most Long Beach residents," Garcia said.

Registration isn't always an easy process
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in Long Beach. Though it just takes a few minutes and $3, getting a bike license requires going to a fire station between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday or Sunday - and hoping that the firefighters there aren't out on a call. The city also recently began offering bike licenses at some community centers and at the Bikestation downtown.

Riders can be ticketed by the police for not having their bikes registered, though police say the main reason for requiring licenses is so that they can more easily identify stolen bikes.

Long Beach bicyclist Mark Bixby told the council that an out-of-date registration is no longer needed to protect bicycles and that there are many online resources for registering bike serial numbers and other information. He added that other major cities are moving in the same direction of voluntary licensing.

"There are other options," Bixby said.

City officials have undertaken several initiatives to improve bicycle infrastructure and services in Long Beach, such as creating a shared bike lane, or "sharrow," for bikes and vehicles on Second Street, building bike boulevards and installing bike racks. In addition to ending bike registrations, grass-roots bicycle advocacy group Pedal Movement has called for the creation of a bicycle commission and a bicyclist's bill of rights to make Long Beach more bike friendly.

Tony Cruz, Long Beach's bicycle ambassador, said he supported ending mandatory bike registration.

"It's a big work in progress to become the most bicycle friendly city in the nation," Cruz said. "We will achieve this goal. It's just going to take some time."
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Old 12-15-10, 09:47 PM
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I guess they heard I was advocating for cyclists to not spend any money in Long Beach.
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Old 12-16-10, 12:10 AM
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Hi,

Yes, this is good news and I haven't heard how the City Council meeting went on Tuesday evening. What's most important is that once we (cyclists) find problems, that the city then is open to solutions. The registration issue is not totally new, but the way the police used it during the critical mass ride, made it a priority.

Cyclists have a voice in Long Beach. That is what's most important because in many local governments, cyclists have no voice.
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Old 12-16-10, 10:14 AM
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It's not a done deal but it's looking good.

https://www.presstelegram.com/ci_16866032?source=rv
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Old 12-16-10, 12:42 PM
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Hi Cleave,

I agree with you and I do feel fortunate to live in acity where cyclists do have voice. I can imagine how many other cities would've just said "F you guys, deal with it".

Given the size of our town and the usual accompanying bureacracy, it's remarkable that the city council has moved so quickly.
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