thoughts on the proposed City of Charleston bike ordinance:

so, i didn’t go to the Charleston city council meeting today, and have no idea what was or was not decided at the meeting.

but the proposed ordinance, as discussed here and here (among other places), has some serious issues – particularly given the City’s uneven enforcement of extant laws in the past.

the current bike registration law is flawed, but this new one is actually worse. currently, the law requires all bikes used in the city to be registered with the police. i’m not resident in the city, but i still use my bikes there. under current law, CPD can confiscate my bikes as unregistered. and they have done this to those who have left bikes locked to actual racks in the past, but didn’t have a city decal.

i’m not going to buy a decal from the city. if i had to buy a decal from every jurisdiction i rode my bicycles through, you’d nowt be able to see the paint.

but let’s say i was going to buy their decal for each of my bikes.

of the four bikes i ride regularly, the newest is two years old and the oldest is twenty. two of them were built by me from parts. i am the original owner for all of them. the city requires that a receipt of sale be produced on registration. strangely, i don’t have a receipt for the Trek i bought twenty years ago and 250 miles away. neither do i have a receipt for the two bikes i built from parts; i could, perhaps, provide them with rather thick files on both. and in another case, a friend of mine has personally built two of his bikes from scratch – they don’t even have serial numbers to be recorded!

of course, the city will still register bikes without a proof of sale; they just charge you more.

so i could spend $20 for the dubious benefit of having the CPD record my serial numbers. yeah, sod that.

the new ordinance proposes an increase in the fee. hooray. it also makes parking a bike at any location other than a bike rack a crime, with a $45 fee to get the bike back. now, i can’t find any of my old parking tickets the city put on my car, but i know they were all quite bit less than $45. and there’s plenty of places to park your car, naysayers aside. not so much for bikes.

and i’m not even going to start on the sidewalk riding crap.

but all of this points to a perception of bicycles as toys, rather than valid transportation choices. for a city that supposedly wants to be considered as “bike friendly,” that’s a pretty cruddy attitude to take.

quote of the day:

“The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.  Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.  Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.” – Iris Murdoch


One Response to “thoughts on the proposed City of Charleston bike ordinance:”

  1. the ice cream man Says:

    very good points

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