Gambit - Registering of bikes in New Orleans which, yes, is a law - could be nixed with new proposal

Wednesday, Aug 1, 2018

BY ALEX WOODWARD Aug 1, 2018 – 6:00 pm

Registering your bike with the city would no longer be mandatory under a proposal from the New Orleans City Council.

The proposed rule change follows reports of a bicyclist hit with a nearly $1,000 ticket, which included a more than $150 fine for not registering their bike, part of a 30-year-old, often-complicated registration requirement.

As part of a package of rules to regulate incoming app-based electric scooter rental companies, an ordinance from District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer also would remove a little-known requirement for bicyclists to register their rides with the New Orleans Police Department. Palmer’s measure would make bike registration for personal use voluntary, with its administration handled by the Department of Safety & Permits instead of NOPD.

The change would only require businesses using rental and app-based “shared” transit register their fleets, at a cost of $5 per vehicle.

Advocacy group Bike Easy — which called on City Hall to get rid of the requirement — is supporting the change, according to its executive director Dan Favre.

The group has led efforts over the years to host free registration events in conjunction with NOPD. But outside of those events, bicyclists associated with the organization have attempted to register on their own “only to be misinformed and misdirected by various people at the NOPD and City Hall, resulting in the inability to actually register the bicycle,” the group said in a statement.

Current law says “no person who resides in the city shall ride or propel a bicycle upon any street unless such bicycle has been registered and a registration plate is attached thereto.”

Current law requires people with bikes valued at more than $100 or with wheels larger than 20 inches in diameter register their information with the NOPD and pay a $3 fee. Bikes worth less than $100 can have the fee waived. You can register with a bike shop when buying a bike, or by filling out a registration form and attaching a notarized affidavit proving ownership of the bike and submitting that to NOPD.

In 2010, the New Orleans City Council was set to consider raising fees to $15, or face $100 fines, but the measure was tabled.

Originial story at www.advocate.com/gambit

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