Cyclists can keep pedaling for now without worrying about having to register their bicycles.
Assemblymember Michael DenDekker proposed the idea to require all cyclists to register their bikes with a license plate as motorists do. As of March 3, he has withdrawn the two bills for reworking to make the proposal stronger.
“I introduced these bills in response to numerous complaints from my constituents regarding bicyclists who were not following local and state laws, and causing dangerous conditions for pedestrians and motorists alike,” said DenDekker.
Many of the complaints DenDekker received was from upstate New Yorkers about having to register their bikes. The focal point of the bills was to strengthen the city by providing assurance that cyclists obey the rules of the road. Constituents in DenDekker’s immediate district of Queens were not against the idea.
“[We] looked at the bills and there were things we can do to make them stronger,” said David Longshore, DenDekker’s press secretary. “To make [the bills] more applicable, they were too broadly written. We’ve taken them back; retooled perhaps reintroduced at a later date.”
The city is rapidly growing. More laws are coming into affect to help raise money for the state; for example, the MTA fare hikes. However, DenDekker said the bicycle law is strictly for the safety of bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians.
“If you want to raise money, you simply raise taxes,” said Longshore. “It’s in no way to underhandedly raise money.”
With the proposal withdrawn for the time being, Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, feels the people of New York have spoken against the idea overall.
"People were outraged about having to pay to do something that’s beneficial for them, their community and the environment,” said White. “Our collective rationality has prevailed, and it is comforting to know that the state’s resources will not be directed away from proven life-saving enforcement on our streets."
The Bicycle Law would have started with a $25 registration fee with a $5 fee every year after that for active cyclists. For commercial and delivery cyclists a $50 fee and mandatory insurance would have been required. All bicycles would have enforced inspections.
The bills looked at to accumulate nearly $2 million for the state for new registrations. Every year after that, an estimated $375,000 would filter in. All cyclists 18 years old and younger would be exempt from the parameters.
“The original intent of these bills was to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety through increased accountability,” said DenDekker. “However, we will now explore future options to achieve stricter enforcement of the bicycle regulations.”