The LAPD recently started enforcing a little known municipal code that requires all bicycles to be licensed within the City of Los Angeles. The stated purpose of the bike-license program is to recover stolen bicycles and help locate lost children, but many local cyclists are outraged, saying the law is “ridiculous” and designed to discourage bicycle use in their “car-obsessed city.”
From the L.A. Weekly:
Until recently, Los Angeles Municipal Code 26.01 was little known. But then in August, the police department began to enforce its central tenet: All cyclists shall ride licensed bicycles; those who do not will be cited and fined. Upon learning of the LAPD’s accelerated enforcement, the city’s cyclists flooded bike blogs with outrage, saying that the code was “ridiculous,” designed “ultimately to prevent bikes in our car-obsessed city … for harassing cyclists.” Others posted plans for evasion: “Like, if I put down the name ‘Elmer Fudd, Address 666 Sexdevil Dr., Los Angeles, CA’ for my new Cervélo all-carbon road frame with Campy parts —will I face a stiff penalty or time in the pinta?”
Cyclists took their case to City Hall at a recent meeting of the city’s Transportation Committee, which met to discuss whether or not the bike-license program was accomplishing its intended goal: recovering stolen bicycles and lost children (supposedly, the home of a lost child could be traced through the bike license). Early on, however, it became clear that the committee was speaking to a constituency it did not fully understand.