Saturday, December 28, 2013


Interesting news out of Chicago about a possible bicycle tax to create an additional revenue stream. It doesn't sound like it is going too far there, but there are other cities and states mentioned that have a bicycle registration or licensing program. Click title for link to article. Here is a bit:
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made bike lanes and bike programs a signature issue, believing it makes downtown an attractive place for bright young people and innovative companies. More bikes means less pollution, less traffic congestion, practically zero wear and tear on the city's roads and a healthier population.
Nevertheless, the idea that cyclists aren't paying their fair share has resonated. But many bike riders are also car owners who pay the fuel tax that helps fund highway construction, or home owners who pay property taxes, which go partly toward road construction.
If you go to and look up Lake Worth's Code of Ordinances, you will find Chapter 8 which is titled "Bicycles." The following section appears under that chapter that provides for the City of Lake Worth to run a bike licensing and inspection program. This language was added to the code in 1956. Somewhere along the line, I guess the decision was made that administering the program cost more money than it brought in. If the City Commission isn't serious about this concept, it really should be taken off the books.

Sec. 8-1. Defined.permanent link to this piece of content

"Bicycle," as used in this chapter, shall mean any device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having two (2) tandem wheels either of which is twenty (20) inches or more in diameter, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two (2) front or two (2) rear wheels.

(Code 1956, § 9-1)
State law reference— "Bicycle" defined, F.S. § 316.002.

Sec. 8-2. License required.permanent link to this piece of content

It shall be unlawful for any person to ride or use a bicycle upon the streets, avenues, alleys or other traffic areas or ways used either for vehicular traffic, without first having obtained a city license for such bicycle as provided by this chapter.

(Code 1956, § 9-2)
Sec. 8-3. License issuance; duration.permanent link to this piece of content

The city shall issue, upon written application, to residents of the city, a bicycle license, which license when issued shall entitle the licensee to operate such bicycle or bicycles for which said license shall have been issued, upon all the streets and public highways of the city. Said license when so issued shall be permanent for the life of the vehicle so licensed.

(Code 1956, § 9-3)
Sec. 8-4. License plate, registration certificate, license fee.permanent link to this piece of content

The city shall provide an appropriate license plate, together with registration certificate cards, that shall have numbers stamped thereon in numerical order, beginning with number one, and shall indicate that they were issued by the City of Lake Worth. The license plate shall be suitable for attachment to the lower end of the rear fender, at the rear of the bicycle at a location where it will always be plainly visible. The licensing authority may supervise its attachment in such manner as will prevent its removal. The city shall also provide and issue a registration card with numbers corresponding to the numbers on the license plate. The issuance of the registration card and the license plate to the licensee shall be after collection of the registration fee of one dollar ($1.00) for the license. Funds collected for the licenses provided for in this chapter shall be paid, as collected, to the city finance director or his designated agent. The license plate shall remain attached to the bicycle or bicycles during the valid term of such license. The licensing authority shall keep a record of the date of each license.

(Code 1956, § 9-4; Ord. No. 80-9, § 11, 6-16-80)
Sec. 8-5. Report of sale or transfer.permanent link to this piece of content

It shall be the duty of any person who sells or transfers ownership of any bicycle to report such sale or transfer by returning to the licensing authority, the registration card issued to such person as licensee thereof, together with the name of the person and his or her address, to whom the bicycle was sold or transferred, and such report shall be made within two (2) days of the date of sale or transfer thereof.

(Code 1956, § 9-5)
Sec. 8-6. Damaging, tampering with plate, registration; stamping of frame.permanent link to this piece of content

It shall be unlawful for any person to wilfully or maliciously remove, destroy, mutilate or alter the number of any bicycle frame licensed, pursuant to this chapter. It shall also be unlawful for any person to remove, destroy, mutilate, or alter any license plate, seal or registration card which is operative; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the licensing authority from stamping on the frame of bicycles on which no serial number can be found, or on which said number is illegible, for identification purposes. The licensing authority may also stamp upon the frame of any bicycle registered a number which shall be the secret number of the licensing authority, if so required, in the administration of this chapter, to prevent bicycle larceny and recover stolen bikes.

(Code 1956, § 9-6)
Sec. 8-7. Operation.permanent link to this piece of content

The following rules and regulations shall be observed in the operation of a bicycle on the streets and public places of the city:

(a) Every person operating a bicycle shall at all times operate said bicycle with due regard for the safety of other persons and vehicles lawfully upon the streets, highways, parkways, and public places; as well as for his own or her safety, and shall at all times and under all conditions yield the right-of-way to pedestrians on the streets, highways, parkways, public places and crosswalks.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon any railway platform or pedestrian way within the city.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon or across any railway tracks within the corporate limits of the city save and except upon streets where a railway crossing is provided, and open to traffic.
(Code 1956, § 9-7)
Sec. 8-8. Inspection authorized; examination of qualifications of applicants for license.permanent link to this piece of content

The chief of police, or his designated representative, may inspect each bicycle offered for licensing, and may also examine the riding qualifications of the applicant as to his or her knowledge of the vehicle traffic laws of the state applying to bicycles, traffic signals and signs, and if the applicant's riding qualifications, knowledge of the vehicle laws of the state applying to bicycles, and the bicycle safe riding rules and regulations, and the official police instructions for the safe operation of a bicycle, are not satisfactory, or the bicycle is not in good ridable condition and properly equipped, as provided for in this chapter, a license for the applicant's bicycle must not be issued.

(Code 1956, § 9-9)
Secs. 8-9—8-19. Reserved.