Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The politics of biking

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 2010 at 6:29 PM

At the new New Orleans City Council's first regular meeting tomorrow, they'll be taking up the issue of bike licensing -- specifically, a $15 fee for "non-commercial" bicycles and $75 for commercial bikes. (Bikes worth less than $100 would be exempt.) The ordinance was originally proposed by former councilman James Carter, who was replaced as District C councilperson on Monday by Kristin Gisleson Palmer:

CAL. NO. 27,907 – BY: COUNCILMEMBER CARTER (BY REQUEST) Brief:

An Ordinance to amend and reordain Sections 154-1403 through 154-1406 of the Code of the City of New Orleans to amend fees and procedures for bicycle registration, and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.

For all the details, you can check Alex Woodward's story, "License to Ride," from this week's news section -- but here's the passage that sums it up:

Three days after they take office, the new City Council will be voting on a bike-registration ordinance proposed by none of them — an ordinance that doesn't specify the difference between a commercial and a non-commercial bike and is equally unclear as to how the city intends to measure the worth of a bicycle to determine whether it even needs a license. Moreover, the ordinance says nothing about how the city would use the fees it would collect.

Is $15 fair for the privilege of biking in New Orleans? For those who might want to ride on down and check out the debate, it begins at 10 am in council chambers in New Orleans City Hall.

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