Northridge West NC tables ridiculous $150 licensing proposal after no one speaks in favor of it

L.A. Bicycle Advisory Vice Chair Glenn Bailey reports on the absurdly punitive proposal to charge cyclists a $150 annual licensing fee, which was tabled on a technicality in the middle of debate at last night’s Northridge West Neighborhood Council meeting.

According to Bailey, not one person spoke in favor of the proposal — including the author of the proposal, who was sitting in the audience.

A proposal to charge $150 annual bicycle “license” fee was abruptly tabled last night in the middle of public comment being heard by the Northridge West Neighborhood Council board.

After several cyclist stakeholders made comments strongly opposing the measure, NWNC President Tom Johnson announced the item would be tabled because “the motion needs to be presented by a Board member” and that it was an “oversight” that it was placed on the agenda.  Johnson asked the remaining speakers to “save it for a month” but that was objected to and comments continued.

Residents, stakeholders, and cyclists unanimously spoke against the proposal, listed on the agenda as 13v. Motion: NWNC Requests LA City to Encourage Bicycle Violator Citations and Reinstitute Bicycle Licensing (Bicycle license fees must be at least $150 per year to reflect their shared responsibility for the cost of maintaining the roads and their safe use).

The measure was repeatedly called “ridiculous” in that it would “become a barrier” to cycling and thereby hurt public health and the environment.

Glenn Bailey, vice-chair of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee reviewed the reasons the City repealed its previous licensing ordinance two years ago and told the board that “we should be encouraging, not discouraging, cycling.”

He asked the board not to “waste any more of our time” by giving any further consideration to the proposal, which speakers pointed out was in violation of the California Vehicle Code.

NWNC stakeholder Ron Wengler, whose name was on the agenda as proposing the motion, was in the audience but did not speak in favor of the item.  In fact, no one did.

The 93 Neighborhood Councils in the City of Los Angeles are advisory bodies established under the City Charter and are governed by boards elected by the stakeholders within the boundaries of each NC.

Although many emails were sent prior to the meeting, additional comments may be directed to all NWNC board members by emailing

As Glenn points out, the proposal is ridiculous — and illegal — on its face, and should be dead on arrival, with no attempt to revive it at the next meeting.

And writing for Cyclelicious, Richard Masoner artfully eviscerates Wengler’s proposal, and warns him to be careful what he wishes for, because he just might get it.


  1. […] The proposal was tabled at Tuesday night’s neighborhood committee […]

  2. Digital Dame says:

    I bet Wengler thought he was being a hero and speaking on behalf of all anonymous cyclist-haters, and expected them to rally around him. When that didn’t happen, he was probably too afraid to say anything.

  3. MC says:

    I believe the comment I sent the board (to which I received no confirmation of receipt) raises some important issues beyond the clear illegality. Here’s what I sent them: “Hi folks: I just read about your proposed $150 fee for bicycle use in your neighborhood all the way up here in Sunny San Francisco.

    As someone who visits Los Angeles to visit my girlfriend at least once a month (I just got back on Monday after a wonderful time at CicLAvia), where we often ride bikes all around Los Angeles, while shopping and dining, I’d wonder how, should this proposal pass, I would register my bike or pay my dues to the City/County of Los Angeles? And, more importantly, what would happen if I was ‘caught’ riding an unlicensed bike?

    How could I, who often arrives Friday after business hours and leaves on Monday before business hours, obtain a permit to operate my bicycle in your City? Would the licensing facilities be open on the weekends?

    I have previously ridden my bike along the entire coast of California, passing through Los Angeles for only a day. Would it be expected that I stop and obtain a permit on my way?

    If I hadn’t read this story, how would I even be *aware* that this law was in affect in Los Angeles County?

    So, I would pose to Mr. Wengler how he would recommend I fall into compliance for this proposal, given these reasonable obstacles?


  4. Jodi Cassell says:

    sounds like the LA biking community did a great job responding to this awful proposal. If it comes up again, just bring in a couple of kids and have them speak about how they would no longer ride bikes because their family wouldn’t be able to afford the registration! LOL!

  5. […] Northridge West Neighborhood Council Steps Back from the Brink (Biking In L.A.) […]

  6. The reality says:

    It’s a bunch of old coots in Northridge still steaming over the loss of their speedway. They are harmless.

  7. twk says:

    Wow $150 per year! That more than Maryland charges to register an SUV ($180 every TWO years).

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