DenDekker Withdraws Statewide Bike License Bill

Celeste Katz at the Daily Politics has the scoop. Here’s the statement from the western Queens Assemblyman who envisioned licenses on every bike and cameras in every bike lane:

I am withdrawing proposed legislation A. 5429. I introduced this bill in response to numerous complaints from my constituents regarding bicyclists who were not following local and state laws, and causing dangerous conditions for pedestrians and motorists alike. In this way, the original intent of this bill was to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety through increased accountability. However, we will now explore future options to achieve stricter enforcement of the bicycle regulations.

Got a suggestion for DenDekker’s next legislative endeavor? Tell us in the comments.

  • Marcia Kramer’s Ojos

    If all these crazy-to-legislate-bicyclists politicians would just do some research, they’d realize what a waste of time it is to introduce these kinds of bills. Citywide, statewide, nationwide they just do not hold up.

    DenDekker should start off by getting on a bike with someone from T.A. He’d realize how its not easy to become a rider the way the streets are. Then maybe he come up with something more rational to help protect cyclists and pedestrians from car drivers.

    I’m in his district, I’d show up!

  • Zulu

    I have a suggestion….do the reasearch before shooting from the hip. Look into other cities that have implemented succesful bicycle programs, and how they implemented those changes. Also, come down to NYC and ride a bike on the streets, not just the greenways and the protected bike paths. Ride as you were commuting, then consider writing a bill.

  • Next up for DenDekker: Random shoelace checks by NYPD. Pedestrians endanger themselves and others when they trip in crosswalks or on sidewalks.

  • MRB

    How about a literacy exam requirements to be an assemblyman?

  • Joe R.

    Rewriting the traffic laws as they relate to bicycles would be a great start if the goal is stricter compliance with the law. I remember they did something similar when Pataki was governer when the speed limit on the NYS Thruway was raised to 65 mph so more motorists would be in compliance with the law. Do the same thing here. Study what cyclists do, ask them what’s safe, ask them why. The two things which all cyclists generally wish to do is be safe and remain in motion. Given that, it makes sense to design new infrastructure which enables both those things. It may also make sense (at least it should be studied) to allow cyclists to treat stop signs and red lights as yields for cases where such infrastructure isn’t possible due to cost or space constraints. It’s important for Mr. DenDekker, along with those of his constituents who complained about bicycles, to realize that not every instance where a cyclist breaks existing laws constitutes “dangerous cycling”. It’s also paramount to understand that if the laws were reformed, then only those actions which are truly dangerous would be illegal. This in turn would force police to go only after the problem cyclists, not those making a right on red into Central Park at 10 PM, or carefully riding at 7 mph on a relatively empty sidewalk.

    Bottom line is if Mr. DenDekker is truly interested in doing something productive here, rather than villianizing cyclists as the media has done, he needs to involve people who ride every day, including those who ride recreationally, commute, run errands, and ride commercially. Without this involvement, legislators will continue to make laws in an ivory tower which may sound good on paper, but fail miserably in the real world.

  • BicyclesOnly

    Excellent. And the next time someone gets up at a Community Board or Precinct Council meeting, calling for bike licensure, the response is, “the last guy who tried that back in February ’11 was so heavily criticized by the public and his fellow legislators that he had to withdraw the bill before the ink was dry.”

  • Joe R.

    Oh, and I second what BicyclesOnly wrote. Now that bike licensing has been proposed and failed miserably twice, I hope the issue is dead for good.

  • Daphna

    Is he withdrawing both bills? Because if not, the one against commercial cyclists should also be withdrawn.

  • LOLcat

    More bicycle cops! That’s the only way we will get any respect.

  • fdr

    Issue isn’t dead. This letter is in today’s Daily News:

    Just like cars

    Middle Village: Let’s say that in some locations bike lanes are a good idea. I have no objection to them, except the city is using tax dollars to create them. Therefore, bike riders need to do the following: 1) Register their bikes. 2) Pay for a license. 3) Have insurance i.e. collision and property damage just like other vehicles using city streets. 4) Be required to take and pass road tests. Unless and until that is done, they have nothing to say that most of us out here want to hear!
    Larry Hoffman

  • Ian Turner

    Here’s my legislative suggestion: Automated, pervasive, zero-tolerance automotive enforcement citywide. Speed cameras on every block. Red-light cameras at every intersection. Automated parking enforcement. Mobile cameras for double parking and fixed cameras for block-the-box violations and perhaps even failure-to-yield violations. Set expectations correctly, with zero-tolerance signage at all city entrance points, zero-tolerance pamphlets for car renters (and perhaps car purchasers), and plenty of advance notice for rule changes. Allocate all money raised through all this enforcement to some noble cause, or perhaps just pay it back to city residents as a tax time dividend.

    Cheers,

    –Ian Turner

  • Rolando P.

    Joe R.’s point about rewriting the traffic laws as they relate to bicycles has a lot of merit. In fact, it’s the approach taken in Idaho (http://www.lostrivercycling.org/idcode.html) particularly with respect to ‘stop as yield’: http://www.bicyclelaw.com/articles/a.cfm/legally-speaking-stop-as-yield1

  • Ken Coughlin

    For starters, let’s make the Central Park loop “our own private Idaho”!

  • lic lovr

    where is the legislature for the motorized bicycles that really are a nuissance. nevermind enforcement of the already existing law that motor vehicles must be registered!

    I don’t get this bicycle registration thing…I mean, why stop at bicycles? Aren’t skate boards, scooter, roller blades, etc all dangerous if used improperly? The key to safety is education on the rules of the road to all users. including automobiles. i can’t tell you how many car drivers think that bicycles are supposed to drive on the sidewalk and not the road!

    a great place to do this sort of education would be summer streets, etc. (there should be one such event in each borough each summer, if not twice a year).

  • signalhelper

    Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers liability of accidents by people riding bicycles. I ride a bicycle all the time. Do you know what happens when some idiot hits an older person with a bicycle. A licence plate can keep an eye on people who are not responsible.

  • marvin

    DenDekker got rid of licensing so he could devote his energies to mandatory universal bike helmet legislation. This is much easier to pass and achieves almost all his goals: wastes legislative time, wastes police time, wastes bicycling advocates time, distracts public and idiot reporters from the motorists killing and hurting thousands of pedestrians.

  • Joe R.

    “DenDekker got rid of licensing so he could devote his energies to mandatory universal bike helmet legislation.”

    Please, don’t give him any more ideas!

  • craig

    Cyclist in New York can be just as dangerous as cars. Why should they have no accountability? It’s great to ride a bike, but just like bad motorists who can get points on their licenses for infractions, there should be similar laws for cyclists. New York has had a major influx of cyclists in the past few years, and since there is no accountability, a great number of them ignore their lanes and the rules- making new york’s streets more dangerous. If motorists and pedestrians expect cyclists to be in their lanes, and they’re not, it can lead to many accidents. Dekker’s proposal was not well thought out, but honestly- i have seen more cyclists breaking the rules than not. The bike lanes aren’t perfect, but they are there for your safety, so please use them! If you have to stop for traffic ocassionally, so be it- this is one of the busiest cities in the world. I certainly don’t get a pat on the back for riding the subway to and from work, so why do cyclists feel they should have free reign?

    Glad that folks are using bikes, but it should not be at the expense of the safety of others. If there are no rules enforced, there will be many more accidents and fatalities to come.

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