UPDATE: New York State assemblyman Michael DenDekker has withdrawn a controversial bill that sought to make bicycle registration compulsory across the state, reports the Rochester-based newspaper, the Democrat and Chronicle.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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.