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A Video Message About Bike Licensing, From New Jersey

4:50 PM EST on January 14, 2011

Via Andy B at WalkBikeJersey, here's how one Newark newspaperman responded to a recent proposal to mandate bicycle registration in his state. (Congrats on breaking the story, WalkBikeJersey.)

NYC's own Eric Ulrich is contemplating a similar bill, though not one that would apply to minors. Somehow I doubt any of our local print outfits will respond in similar fashion.

It's possible that Ulrich will get a look at this video and think twice about pushing for bike registrations, but it doesn't look like he's ready to re-examine his bill just yet. Gothamist got the following statement out of the 24-year-old City Council member from southeast Queens:

Being on the road is a privilege, not an absolute right. The city is constantly bending over backwards to accommodate cyclists with the installation of bike lanes and special traffic signals -- yet drivers are the only ones who receive tickets for speeding, blowing red lights, and not yielding to pedestrian traffic. This is a common sense piece of legislation that will improve safety for everyone. The bottom line is that we all share the road and must follow the same rules.

If you can cut through all the resentment, made-up assertions, and false equivalence between cars and bikes, Ulrich seems to be saying that his bill will somehow make it easier to ticket cyclists. But -- newsflash -- there's bike enforcement going on already. Even before the recent "crackdown," police were able to hand out hundreds of tickets for sidewalk riding on the Upper East Side each month. This bill would mainly make it easier to ticket cyclists for riding without the ID mandated by this bill.

The next time a legislator seriously considers proposing a bill like this, here's a helpful exercise for the would-be sponsor: Name one major city that has successfully instituted bike registration. Or, just read this.

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