In a bike-friendlier move, LB City Council eliminates mandatory bicycle registration

By Stephanie Raygoza
Staff Writer

Mandatory bicycle registration was put to an end for Long Beach residents as their City Council unanimously voted last Tuesday to amend city municipal code that enforced bicycle licensing and registration laws.
First District Councilmember Robert Garcia introduced the measure in December and described the mandatory system as being antiquated and inefficient.
“It’s certainly cut the government red tape and [it’s] a great step toward making Long Beach more bike-friendly,” Garcia said.
Replacing the mandatory registration system, and now in effect, is a voluntary program in which riders can choose to register their bicycles through the National Bike Registry or other online registry services.
“We’ve been receiving very positive responses, especially from people that received tickets in the past,” Garcia said. “We’re partnering with local bike and repair shops to encourage registration.”
Originally created to help law-enforcement officials track stolen bikes, the licensing law has resulted in hundreds of citations for riders without registration. With Long Beach being a predominantly bike-friendly city, many of the cyclists did not bother registering their bikes.
“We’re trying to avoid the 18-year-old from getting a ticket for going to his local store. Or a family of four trying to enjoy an evening of bike riding without getting fined,” Garcia said.
Vice Mayor and 2nd District Councilmember Suja Lowenthal also created an amendment to the motion that would examine online bicycle registration options. Previously, bike registration took place Saturday mornings at city fire stations where riders would pay for the $3 service.
Ninth District resident Daniel Serrano’s only means of transportation is biking. “I’ve never registered my bike or felt the need to,” he said. “And to not have to worry about potential fines comes as a relief.”

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