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Long Beach eliminates bike registration law that dealt steep fines

February 9, 2011 |  9:07 am

The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday to eliminate a law that required residents to register their bikes with the city or face a fine.

The city’s decision to scrap its little-known bike licensing law and registration program was a victory for cyclists upset over being hit with pricey tickets for an infraction that seemed out of keeping with Long Beach's pledge to become "the most bicycle-friendly city in America." Bike registration will become voluntary, with city officials directing cyclists to list their bikes online with the National Bike Registry.

“Our mandatory system was antiquated and inefficient,” said Councilman Robert Garcia, who introduced the measure in December. “The new voluntary system is accessible, fair, and supports families, avid cyclists and visitors to our city.” 

The city cited more than 1,000 cyclists for riding without registration last year, according to a city report, but the cost to administer the bicycle license program greatly exceeded its revenue. The vast majority of cyclists in the city did not have their bikes registered to begin with.

Bike registration is supposed to give law enforcement officials a way to track down stolen bikes. But so few cyclists participate in the programs that cities across the county, including Los Angeles, have done away with them in recent years.

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-- Tony Barboza

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