Update: New York politician withdraws bill that sought state-wide bicycle registration

Controversial plans dropped after widespread condemnation of an "insane bill"

by Simon_MacMichael   March 3, 2011  

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UPDATE: New York State assemblyman Michael DenDekker has withdrawn a controversial bill that sought to make bicycle registration compulsory across the state, reports the Rochester-based newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle.

The newspapr reports that DenDekker dropped the proposed bill on Thursday evening after it had been roundly condemned by politicians throughout the state, which covers an area almost twice the size of Scotland and is home to nearly 20 million people.

Wayne County Clerk Michael Jankowski described DenDekkers proposals as an "insane bill," while Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo said that legislation such as this had led people to depart the state to live elsewhere.

Both were speaking at a news conference where they were joined by representatives of other counties throughout the state.

"I really honestly can't believe we need to be discussing this here today," said Dinolfo, adding,"This is something we have to take a stand against today before it gets any traction. We simply cannot afford another tax on everyday people here in New York state."

ORIGINAl STORY: Just weeks after news of a proposed law in New York City which if enacted would mean that all adult cyclists there would have to get their bicycles licensed, a local politician is now looking to introduce similar legislation at state level.

Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, a Democrat who represents the New York City borough of Queens in the state assembly, has drawn up two bills, one for "the annual registration of personal bicycles and provides for a license plate fee of twenty-five dollars for the first year and five dollars for every year thereafter," the other requiring the state’s commercial cylists, such as bike messengers, to carry ID and insurance and pay a registration fee of $50 according to the Gothamist website.

In both cases, bikes would have to be inspected to ensure that they "conform to the lamp and equipment requirements," reports the website.

Mr DenDekker apparently believes that the proposed law would result in an initial $1.875 million flowing into the state coffers, plus recurring income each year of $375,000.

However, as Gothamist points out, money is the furthest thing from his mind in drafting the legislation, which instead aims at "ensuring personal protection for cases such as bicycle theft or bicycle accidents. With a recent high increase in bike use on roads, rising from 30% in 1980, and doubling to 60% just ten years later, it is essential that the state of New York be able to identify the bicycle riders."

As for the provisions regarding commercial cyclists, Mr DenDekker says that it would "be beneficial for small businesses to have liability insurance because the insurance would pay for any medical bills, instead of having the payment come directly from the pockets of the business."

Although Mr DenDekker has not yet replied to a request from Gothamist to provide a comment on his proposals, the news has generated a lively debate on the website which goes to show that ill-founded accusations of cyclists not paying their fair share towards upkeep of the roads aren’t confined to this side of the Atlantic Ocean.


5 user comments

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what an idiot! The trouble with these politicians is that they think the best thing to do is create more and more laws. Perhaps he should be looking at laws he could abolish rather than new ones.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
3rd March 2011 - 14:16

1 Like

Pros and cons of bicycle registration/licensing here:


Got to admit, it's overwhelmingly cons.

Carlton Reid's picture

posted by Carlton Reid [110 posts]
3rd March 2011 - 16:59

1 Like

Interesting proposal... Good link Carlton.

posted by Celeste08 [38 posts]
3rd March 2011 - 23:31


Another dolt suggesting ill-conceived plans that haven't been fully thought out. Where do these idiots come from? I presume there's a factory where morons are cloned and are ill-educated because it takes only 30 minutes for them to reach physical maturity, which is why they have no common sense.


posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
4th March 2011 - 8:04


What Carlton said.

This is just more misinformation and false logic perpetrated by some stooge looking for a little publicity.

Having said that: cycling is perceived by many legislators and cops as a bastion of anarchy. It is seen as a threat to their very existence. A wild thing to be tamed.
Every time there is a critical mass ride, this view is reinforced.
DenDekker (and Clarkson) get a little more support for their nonsensical arguments every time an erratic cyclist causes a big city motorist to spill their coffee or drop their phone.

The best way to resolve this is segregation. Not total, but strategic. Whilst preserving cyclists's universal right to the road.

More cyclists using car free through ways means less motorists will have reason to complain to their representatives; although indignant pedestrians will probably rush in to fill the vacuum.

posted by Viro Indovina [79 posts]
5th March 2011 - 8:36