nola.com - How New Orleans’ new bike registration will work
Monday, Dec 3, 2018
How New Orleans’ new bike registration will work
Updated Nov 29; Posted Dec 3, 8:00 AM
When the New Orleans City Council voted to put an end to mandatory bike registration, it felt like there was, finally, a thread of reason in the conversation about the decades-old requirement that came with a hefty fine, if violated.
Now that the new rules are a month away from taking effect, it seems the city is still willing to take some criticism: The Department of Safety and Permits originally planned to manage the new bike registry in-house, but thanks to some constructive feedback from the bike community, the registry will be more useful to cycling citizens than ever.
The new registration system will be tied to Bike Index, a free-to-use nonprofit-run database of nearly 200,000 bikes all over the world used by individuals and police departments alike.
Taking part in New Orleans’ new version of its bike registry program will be voluntary for private individuals and required for bike businesses, but there’s a good reason to register in the new system, according to Larry Lagarde, who works with the local nonprofit Stolen Bikes NOLA and owns the French Quarter shop Ride This Bike.
The site, Lagarde said, has “been really helpful in bike recovery for us. It works, and it’s simple to use.”
The benefit of tying into a major registry is clear: If your bike is stolen, or if you buy a stolen bike, it’s easy to find out or notify anyone who might look for that information. Before, if a person wasn’t sure if they were buying a stolen bike in say, Jefferson Parish or Shreveport, they would have had to call NOPD with the bike information and check with an officer, if they even considered doing so at all. Now, a person can just check the site, which users can update when necessary.
A City Hall spokesman said Safety and Permits will migrate data from the NOPD’s current system to Bike Index, and new registrations will be hosted there. The department is also “actively recruiting local bicycle shops and repair facilities to … perform registrations and issue official bike registration stickers.” Businesses are still being recruited for that task.
A few other details:
— You should consider your resources: Registering a bike with the city will cost $5 for an individual, but it’s free to do so directly on BikeIndex.org, though you’ll receive a sticker imprinted with a registration number to tag your bike when doing so with the city’s program.
— Anyone with a registered bike will be able to edit their information through BikeIndex.org. If, for example, you move, spray paint your bike a different color or get a new phone number, you can make that change without driving down to NOPD or City Hall.
— If your bike is stolen, you should still report that information to NOPD, but you should also update that information on BikeIndex.org. If a pawn shop, bike store or individual checks the site, they’ll be notified the bike wasn’t legally acquired. “Duplicate serial numbers will not be accepted without following the BikeIndex transfer procedure,” the city spokesman said.
— Don’t forget to snap a photo. Bike Index, unlike the city’s previous system, can include a photo with your registration.
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