The current city ordinance on bicycle registration:
Sec. 154-1403. Registration required.
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. This section shall be applicable to new residents of the parish at the expiration of 90 days.
(Code 1956, § 38-192)
(a) Application for a bicycle registration shall be made upon the form provided by and shall be made to the superintendent of police. There shall be a registration fee of $3.00 for all bicycles with a 20-inch wheel size or larger. The dealer shall collect such fee at the time of sale, issue bicycle registration decal, and remit the fee to the superintendent of police along with the application for registration.
(b) This charge becomes effective as of February 1, 1987.
(c) Exemption for the payment of fees shall be for all bicycles under the cost of $100.00.
(Code 1956, § 38-193)
(a) The superintendent of police or any police officer assigned such duty by him, or the superintendent of fire or any employee of the department of fire when assigned such duty in writing by the mayor, upon receiving proper application therefor, may issue a bicycle registration plate to the owner thereof. Each new owner shall register such bicycle in accordance with the provisions of this article. They shall not register any bicycle when they know or have reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant is not the owner of or entitled to the possession of such bicycle.
(b) The superintendent of police and the superintendent of fire shall keep a record of the number of each registration, the date issued, the name and address of the person to whom issued and the number on the frame of the bicycle for which issued and a record of all bicycle registration fees collected by them.
(c) It shall be the duty of the superintendent of fire to forward a true copy of the record of each registration made by him, or any employee of the department of fire, to the superintendent of police.
(d) The superintendent of police may authorize bicycle dealers to register and attach registration plates to bicycles. All such persons authorized to register and attach registration plates to bicycles shall forward immediately to the superintendent of police true copies of such registration. It shall be a misdemeanor to fail to furnish such copies or to furnish false or fraudulent records to the superintendent of police.
(Code 1956, § 38-194)
The superintendent of police or other authorized person upon issuing a bicycle registration shall also issue a registration plate bearing the registration number assigned to the bicycle, and the name of the city. The superintendent of police or other authorized person shall cause such registration plate to be firmly attached to the frame of the bicycle for which it has been issued in such a position as to be plainly visible. No person shall remove a registration plate from a bicycle during the period of ownership for which it is issued except in the event the bicycle is dismantled and no longer operated upon any street in the city.
(Code 1956, § 38-195)
City Council does need to address the issue, because police should not legally be able to issue a ticket for a registration sticker residents cannot obtain, but Councilman Carter's proposal to raise fees to $15 a bike for non-commercial use and $75 for commercial use has not been completely hashed-out. Where is the registration money going? How will the new registration system help deter theft? What considerations have been made for the thousands of low-income residents who use a bicycle as their main form of transportation? A lot of questions remain unanswered.
NolaCycle, Metro Bicycle Coalition, N.O. Bike Polo, and 311 individual cyclists (as of 3/28) would like you to sign the online petition encouraging well thought-out and financially reasonable bicycle registration laws in New Orleans.
To: New Orleans City Council
We, the undersigned, request the City Council examine our concerns about Councilman Carter's proposed Bicycle Registration Fee hike to $75 for commercial use and $15 for non-commercial use (amendments to Sections 154-1403 through 154-1406 of the Code of the City of New Orleans). While an effective bicycle registration program can be a valuable resource, the magnitude of this increase (500% for non-commercial and 2500% for commercial) will be a hardship for some cyclists and feel like a punishment to others. The following outlines our primary concerns:
- The ordinance does not specify how the collected fees will be used by the city
- An increase of this scope should involve greater public participation to insure an effective registration program
- Low registration fees will encourage citizens to participate in the program, which will in turn discourage theft and promote ridership.
We appreciate your attention to this matter.