Tag Archive for bicycle registration

Morning Links: An early endorsement for state senate, registration gets bikes back, and OCTA swims upstream

Getting a jump on next year’s elections, the Speaker of the California Assembly has endorsed former representative Steven Bradford for the state senate in next year’s elections.

Toni Adkins joins former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Senator Robert Hertzberg and Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez in endorsing Bradford.

And me, too.

Bradford is a bicyclist himself, and has worked in the legislature to improve safety for cyclists. Including sponsoring the first two attempts at passing a stronger version of the new three-foot passing law, which cleared the legislature before being vetoed by Gov. Brown.

It’s early in the game. But Steven Bradford has my unqualified support, having already proven himself to be an effective legislator.

And one of the good guys.

………

This is why I keep pushing the Bike Index bicycle registration and stolen bike reporting available at the top of this page.

In just the last two weeks, the site has helped 11 stolen bikes find their way back home to their owners.

It’s free, period. To register, report a theft, or check a bike against the list of ones reported stolen in the area.

And it could make all the difference if someone makes off with yours.

………

Just a week before the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish hurts his shoulder when it’s whacked with a camera by a too-close fan. Victory could be in the cards for Aussie rider Nathan Haas — literally — while Chris Froome risks being upstaged by his cat.

 

London’s Mail looks at how to get away with doping these days. Although that may not be necessary, if you can just get a support vehicle to follow you; a new study says that can be enough to affect the outcome of a race.

And writer for ESPN says women’s sports are boring and not worth watching; not surprisingly, women’s cyclists disagree. As does anyone who has watched women’s cycling for more than five minutes, or plans to watch the US take on Germany in today’s Women’s World Cup match.

………

Local

Ding dong, LaBonge is gone. LA’s most outgoing cheerleader led summer bike rides, but blocked planned bikeways on Lankershim Blvd, as well as 4th and 6th Streets, and was a driving force behind the unsafe and pedestrian-unfriendly design recently adopted for the new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

A writer for the Daily Bruin calls for a Westwood bikeshare hub to give students greater access to LA. Although they will still need safe places to ride.

CiclaValley looks at Sunday’s successful LA River Ride. I had planned to be there myself, but my health issues knocked me on my ass all day.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Richard McKinnon of Safe Streets Santa Monica about bringing data to street safety discussions. His group mapped 9,600 collisions over a 10-year period, and discovered less than fifty caused by cyclists.

Police bust a bike riding burglar perusing potentially purloin-able property in a subterranean SaMo garage.

 

State

A San Diego bike rider suffered minor injuries after he’s accused of running a red light in an early morning crash. The question is whether anyone other than the driver who hit him actually saw the victim go through the light. Because no driver would have an incentive to twist the facts, or anything.

A Santa Cruz cyclist really goes the extra mile — or more like a marathon — by riding back and getting his car to drive an injured bike-riding stranger to his home. Then replacing the man’s fluorescent lights and fixing his faucet and electric switches, as well as buying and mounting a new tire for his bike.

A San Francisco cyclist is on a one-woman mission to stop drivers from double parking in bike lanes. Maybe she could come down here next.

Bagdad by the Bay has become Bicyclists by the Bay, to the detriment of those poor, put upon drivers according one SF writer.

Streetsblog asks if a new bike lane in Orinda is the worst bike lane in the world; the lane directs bike riders to go straight between two right turn lanes, almost guaranteeing a high-speed right hook.

Remarkably, two mountain bikers are relatively okay after plunging 150 feet off a Marin County trail in separate incidents nearly seven hours apart, yet somehow landing in the same spot.

 

National

City Lab offers advice on how to hold onto your bike seat. And they take a look at that device developed by Chatanooga police to catch drivers violating the three-foot passing law.

A new bill in Congress would require the DOT to research new technology to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Las Vegas is fighting an epidemic of bicycling fatalities, with seven deaths this year compared to just one last year; four of those have been hit-and-runs. The story advises bicyclists to stay safe by walking across crosswalks, but has anyone ever done a study to determine if that really reduces risk?

Nice piece from Wichita KN, as cyclists surprise a riding buddy who suffered a massive stroke with a custom-made three-wheel ‘bent to get him back on the road. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

LA’s own Swrve is among the bike brands sponsoring musician Ben Weaver’s planned tour around Lake Superior next month.

A Connecticut driver faces a negligent homicide charge after left crossing a cyclist, even though the driver said he never saw him. Although the cops suspect the cyclist may have been speeding, based on nothing but speculation.

A new Delaware bill would encourage transit-friendly, walkable and bikeable economic development.

Boston may be the first proposed Olympic site without a velodrome, since no one seems to want it.

Athletes fight in every sport. But when bicyclists do it at the end of an Massachusetts race, it somehow becomes news.

As Philadelphia has become more bike friendly, surrounding counties have fallen behind.

New York’s Central Park goes partially car-free. Parks are for people, not cars — a lesson the people running Griffith Park still need to learn.

A New York cyclist shoots a TV quiz show, which could go national, from the seat of his bike.

New Orleans plans to narrow the massive neutral ground — aka median, to everyone else — on the city’s Napoleon Ave to make room for a walking path and bike lanes.

 

International

Two cyclists are competing against themselves and each other, riding a combined 150,000 miles in an attempt to break the year record.

An Ottawa writer gets it, saying there’s so much more to bike safety than just wearing a helmet. Note to Metro News: When you show a photo of a bike helmet, a caption saying it’s a bike helmet really isn’t necessary.

A handful of Canadian cities are building protected bike lanes; Montreal leads Saskatoon by 184 km to one.

The owners of a British trucking firm are banned from the business after an unlicensed and uninsured driver killed a cyclist while driving one of their trucks. Too bad we can’t hold business owners accountable like that over here.

A Brit bike rider is convicted of using “racially aggressive language” when a security guard tried to stop him from riding in a mall.

Bicycling could be the answer to providing care givers in rural areas in the UK.

France bans hands-free cell phone headsets, while Paris is making the massive roundabouts at seven major intersections safer for cyclists.

Burundi’s president may be controversial, but at least he bikes the vote. Even if his wife, soldiers and bodyguards had to walk behind him.

Injuries and fatalities blamed on Japanese bike riders have fallen dramatically, but authorities are cracking down on riders because the ratio of fatalities blamed on bicyclists has gone up. So it’s now illegal to hold an umbrella while you ride.

Instead of trying to make a car with two wheels, why not just build a better Korean e-bike?

 

Finally…

Why let facts get in the way, as Donald Trump evidently doesn’t understand the difference between a bike race and a bike ride, even though he used to sponsor one; the former, not the latter. A writer from my home state says bike lanes, potholes and marijuana are all part of a plot to force his city to go car-free; someone should tell him bikes need decent pavement, too.

And a seriously strange video from the Orange County Transportation Authority says don’t be a salmon.

 

Today’s post, in which I prepare to take license and piss people off.

Raise my fees. Please.

While I was otherwise occupied, both professionally and subject matter-wise, the topic of online conversation among my fellow L.A. riders turned to the sudden enforcement of the city’s long-dormant bike licensing requirement within certain police precincts.

Damien quickly picked up the story at Streetsblog, and confirmed that yes, it was true. Green LA Girl jumped in with instructions on how and where the deed could be done. Members of the Midnight Ridazz registered en masse, while Josef waxed poetic about registering his Flying Pigeon. And Will went out of his way to register his Giant roadie (I suppose if I had a Giant roadie, I’d want people to know, too.)

Which, I suppose, just leaves me.

I wasn’t shocked to find out L.A. has a bike licensing law. I’d heard rumors about it from time to time, but never could seem to find out any details. Even the cops I asked didn’t have a clue how to go about getting one. Or why anyone would bother, for that matter.

And therein lies the problem.

When the local police — who, under the law, are not only responsible for enforcement but also conducting the actual registration program — are unaware that bikes are supposed to be licensed in this town, something is seriously wrong.

As Damien points out, this is a state program; cities may or may not participate at their discretion. The stated purpose seems to be to aid in the recovery of stolen bikes by registering a description and serial number with the police.

However, the sudden selective enforcement in just some Los Angeles precincts would tend to indicate that the real purpose in bringing it up now is simply to provide the police with another tool for cracking down on unruly riders like the Ridazz.

That’s just one of my many problems with L.A.’s bike licensing program. Like the fact it’s almost impossible to comply with, for instance.

As things currently stand, there are only two places in this city of nearly 4 million people where one can actually get a license — on the campus of USC, and downtown’s Central Community Police Station, which offers the added attraction of riding your bike through skid row just to get there.

Then there’s the fact that the Central Community Station only offers licenses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm. And just to make things a little harder, you have to bring the bike with you.

Seems to me the unreasonable difficulty in registration would make a damn good argument if you were ticketed for having an unregistered bike.

However, some people have said that you can register your bike by mail through the City of Santa Monica, even if you don’t live there. That’s the option I’m going to try.

The bigger problem, though, is that this program is, by and large, meaningless. With a fee of $3 — a measly $1 a year — it’s not enough to make any significant contribution to the city or state coffers, even if every cyclist in the state complied. In fact, I doubt it even covers the administrative costs of the program.

Nor is the penalty for non-compliance, which I’m told is a whopping $10, enough to compel anyone to act. And to the best of my knowledge, whatever funds are raised simply go into the general budget, rather than benefiting cycling in any way.

So I have a simple suggestion.

Raise the fee.

A buck a year is just enough to be an annoyance, without being enough to do any good. So raise it to a more significant, yet still affordable, amount. Like $10, for instance. But require that every penny raised be dedicated to funding bicycling projects — and that the money be spent in the city it comes from.

The result would be that every city in California would have anywhere from a few thousand to a few million dollars to spend on improvements that would benefit local cyclists. And that couldn’t be spent on anything else.

But it could be spent on new bike lanes, or bike lockers, or repaving crumbling bike paths, or even red light triggers — without raising taxes or draining empty city coffers. And instead of wasting our money on a mere annoyance, we’d see the actual results of our fees on the streets of our own cities, which would do a lot more to encourage compliance than any penalty would.

It could also be run through the DMV, like registering any other vehicle — they might be a pain in the ass to deal with, but at least they know how to handle vehicle registrations, unlike whatever poor cop happens to get stuck with desk duty on Tuesday or Thursday. There’s also a DMV office in virtually every city in the state, often more than one, and they have the infrastructure in place to handle renewals automatically by mail.

Or course, there are other ways to handle it.

Just like with cars, the fees could be based on the value of the bike. There’s a reasonable argument to be made that I should pay more to license my two-grand road bike than someone should pay for a $250 Flying Pigeon. Even a 1% fee would result in a still relatively reasonable $20 per year for my bike, while that Flying Pigeon would only run $2.50, and an $8000 carbon fiber miracle of modern science would cost $80 — not much more than its owner would spend on a decent racing tire.

But whatever method we choose, we need to do something.

Because the current system is simply asinine. And it’s time our money went to something that would do us some good.

 

Hardrockgrrl survives her first journey through the Block of Death. And after dark, no less. Both Gary and Green LA Girl promote Westwood’s upcoming Bike Town Beta; she also offers 9 steps for bicycle happiness, which I missed the first time around. Damien offers the next step in reclaiming the Ballona Bike Trail with the upcoming Tour de Ballona (nice graphics, too). In news from the home state, Boulder holds the LAB’s platinum rating, which my old hometown aspires to. I believe L.A.’s current rating is rusted pot metal. Bottleneck Blog’s Steve Hyman discovers a bike rack miracle in Pasadena. And finally, Will drops in on the new Heliotrope Road home of Orange 20 Bikes.

 

Today’s post, in which I prepare to take license and piss people off.

Raise my fees. Please.

While I was otherwise occupied, both professionally and subject matter-wise, the topic of online conversation among my fellow L.A. riders turned to the sudden enforcement of the city’s long-dormant bike licensing requirement within certain police precincts.

Damien quickly picked up the story at Streetsblog, and confirmed that yes, it was true. Green LA Girl jumped in with instructions on how and where the deed could be done. Members of the Midnight Ridazz registered en masse, while Josef waxed poetic about registering his Flying Pigeon. And Will went out of his way to register his Giant roadie (I suppose if I had a Giant roadie, I’d want people to know, too.)

Which, I suppose, just leaves me.

I wasn’t shocked to find out L.A. has a bike licensing law. I’d heard rumors about it from time to time, but never could seem to find out any details. Even the cops I asked didn’t have a clue how to go about getting one. Or why anyone would bother, for that matter.

And therein lies the problem.

When the local police — who, under the law, are not only responsible for enforcement but also conducting the actual registration program — are unaware that bikes are supposed to be licensed in this town, something is seriously wrong.

As Damien points out, this is a state program; cities may or may not participate at their discretion. The stated purpose seems to be to aid in the recovery of stolen bikes by registering a description and serial number with the police.

However, the sudden selective enforcement in just some Los Angeles precincts would tend to indicate that the real purpose in bringing it up now is simply to provide the police with another tool for cracking down on unruly riders like the Ridazz.

That’s just one of my many problems with L.A.’s bike licensing program. Like the fact it’s almost impossible to comply with, for instance.

As things currently stand, there are only two places in this city of nearly 4 million people where one can actually get a license — on the campus of USC, and downtown’s Central Community Police Station, which offers the added attraction of riding your bike through skid row just to get there.

Then there’s the fact that the Central Community Station only offers licenses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm. And just to make things a little harder, you have to bring the bike with you.

Seems to me the unreasonable difficulty in registration would make a damn good argument if you were ticketed for having an unregistered bike.

However, some people have said that you can register your bike by mail through the City of Santa Monica, even if you don’t live there. That’s the option I’m going to try.

The bigger problem, though, is that this program is, by and large, meaningless. With a fee of $3 — a measly $1 a year — it’s not enough to make any significant contribution to the city or state coffers, even if every cyclist in the state complied. In fact, I doubt it even covers the administrative costs of the program.

Nor is the penalty for non-compliance, which I’m told is a whopping $10, enough to compel anyone to act. And to the best of my knowledge, whatever funds are raised simply go into the general budget, rather than benefiting cycling in any way.

So I have a simple suggestion.

Raise the fee.

A buck a year is just enough to be an annoyance, without being enough to do any good. So raise it to a more significant, yet still affordable, amount. Like $10, for instance. But require that every penny raised be dedicated to funding bicycling projects — and that the money be spent in the city it comes from.

The result would be that every city in California would have anywhere from a few thousand to a few million dollars to spend on improvements that would benefit local cyclists. And that couldn’t be spent on anything else.

But it could be spent on new bike lanes, or bike lockers, or repaving crumbling bike paths, or even red light triggers — without raising taxes or draining empty city coffers. And instead of wasting our money on a mere annoyance, we’d see the actual results of our fees on the streets of our own cities, which would do a lot more to encourage compliance than any penalty would.

It could also be run through the DMV, like registering any other vehicle — they might be a pain in the ass to deal with, but at least they know how to handle vehicle registrations, unlike whatever poor cop happens to get stuck with desk duty on Tuesday or Thursday. There’s also a DMV office in virtually every city in the state, often more than one, and they have the infrastructure in place to handle renewals automatically by mail.

Or course, there are other ways to handle it.

Just like with cars, the fees could be based on the value of the bike. There’s a reasonable argument to be made that I should pay more to license my two-grand road bike than someone should pay for a $250 Flying Pigeon. Even a 1% fee would result in a still relatively reasonable $20 per year for my bike, while that Flying Pigeon would only run $2.50, and an $8000 carbon fiber miracle of modern science would cost $80 — not much more than its owner would spend on a decent racing tire.

But whatever method we choose, we need to do something.

Because the current system is simply asinine. And it’s time our money went to something that would do us some good.

 

Hardrockgrrl survives her first journey through the Block of Death. And after dark, no less. Both Gary and Green LA Girl promote Westwood’s upcoming Bike Town Beta; she also offers 9 steps for bicycle happiness, which I missed the first time around. Damien offers the next step in reclaiming the Ballona Bike Trail with the upcoming Tour de Ballona (nice graphics, too). In news from the home state, Boulder holds the LAB’s platinum rating, which my old hometown aspires to. I believe L.A.’s current rating is rusted pot metal. Bottleneck Blog’s Steve Hyman discovers a bike rack miracle in Pasadena. And finally, Will drops in on the new Heliotrope Road home of Orange 20 Bikes.

 

Today’s post, in which I prepare to take license and piss people off.

Raise my fees. Please.

While I was otherwise occupied, both professionally and subject matter-wise, the topic of online conversation among my fellow L.A. riders turned to the sudden enforcement of the city’s long-dormant bike licensing requirement within certain police precincts.

Damien quickly picked up the story at Streetsblog, and confirmed that yes, it was true. Green LA Girl jumped in with instructions on how and where the deed could be done. Members of the Midnight Ridazz registered en masse, while Josef waxed poetic about registering his Flying Pigeon. And Will went out of his way to register his Giant roadie (I suppose if I had a Giant roadie, I’d want people to know, too.)

Which, I suppose, just leaves me.

I wasn’t shocked to find out L.A. has a bike licensing law. I’d heard rumors about it from time to time, but never could seem to find out any details. Even the cops I asked didn’t have a clue how to go about getting one. Or why anyone would bother, for that matter.

And therein lies the problem.

When the local police — who, under the law, are not only responsible for enforcement but also conducting the actual registration program — are unaware that bikes are supposed to be licensed in this town, something is seriously wrong.

As Damien points out, this is a state program; cities may or may not participate at their discretion. The stated purpose seems to be to aid in the recovery of stolen bikes by registering a description and serial number with the police.

However, the sudden selective enforcement in just some Los Angeles precincts would tend to indicate that the real purpose in bringing it up now is simply to provide the police with another tool for cracking down on unruly riders like the Ridazz.

That’s just one of my many problems with L.A.’s bike licensing program. Like the fact it’s almost impossible to comply with, for instance.

As things currently stand, there are only two places in this city of nearly 4 million people where one can actually get a license — on the campus of USC, and downtown’s Central Community Police Station, which offers the added attraction of riding your bike through skid row just to get there.

Then there’s the fact that the Central Community Station only offers licenses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm. And just to make things a little harder, you have to bring the bike with you.

Seems to me the unreasonable difficulty in registration would make a damn good argument if you were ticketed for having an unregistered bike.

However, some people have said that you can register your bike by mail through the City of Santa Monica, even if you don’t live there. That’s the option I’m going to try.

The bigger problem, though, is that this program is, by and large, meaningless. With a fee of $3 — a measly $1 a year — it’s not enough to make any significant contribution to the city or state coffers, even if every cyclist in the state complied. In fact, I doubt it even covers the administrative costs of the program.

Nor is the penalty for non-compliance, which I’m told is a whopping $10, enough to compel anyone to act. And to the best of my knowledge, whatever funds are raised simply go into the general budget, rather than benefiting cycling in any way.

So I have a simple suggestion.

Raise the fee.

A buck a year is just enough to be an annoyance, without being enough to do any good. So raise it to a more significant, yet still affordable, amount. Like $10, for instance. But require that every penny raised be dedicated to funding bicycling projects — and that the money be spent in the city it comes from.

The result would be that every city in California would have anywhere from a few thousand to a few million dollars to spend on improvements that would benefit local cyclists. And that couldn’t be spent on anything else.

But it could be spent on new bike lanes, or bike lockers, or repaving crumbling bike paths, or even red light triggers — without raising taxes or draining empty city coffers. And instead of wasting our money on a mere annoyance, we’d see the actual results of our fees on the streets of our own cities, which would do a lot more to encourage compliance than any penalty would.

It could also be run through the DMV, like registering any other vehicle — they might be a pain in the ass to deal with, but at least they know how to handle vehicle registrations, unlike whatever poor cop happens to get stuck with desk duty on Tuesday or Thursday. There’s also a DMV office in virtually every city in the state, often more than one, and they have the infrastructure in place to handle renewals automatically by mail.

Or course, there are other ways to handle it.

Just like with cars, the fees could be based on the value of the bike. There’s a reasonable argument to be made that I should pay more to license my two-grand road bike than someone should pay for a $250 Flying Pigeon. Even a 1% fee would result in a still relatively reasonable $20 per year for my bike, while that Flying Pigeon would only run $2.50, and an $8000 carbon fiber miracle of modern science would cost $80 — not much more than its owner would spend on a decent racing tire.

But whatever method we choose, we need to do something.

Because the current system is simply asinine. And it’s time our money went to something that would do us some good.

 

Hardrockgrrl survives her first journey through the Block of Death. And after dark, no less. Both Gary and Green LA Girl promote Westwood’s upcoming Bike Town Beta; she also offers 9 steps for bicycle happiness, which I missed the first time around. Damien offers the next step in reclaiming the Ballona Bike Trail with the upcoming Tour de Ballona (nice graphics, too). In news from the home state, Boulder holds the LAB’s platinum rating, which my old hometown aspires to. I believe L.A.’s current rating is rusted pot metal. Bottleneck Blog’s Steve Hyman discovers a bike rack miracle in Pasadena. And finally, Will drops in on the new Heliotrope Road home of Orange 20 Bikes.

 

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