The Chainlink

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Wow. This John Kass is a real jackass. I hope none of us here buys into this crap. Any forced upon tax, fees, licensing, registration, and even mandatory helmet laws imposed upon cyclists would result in significantly less cycling, not just in Chicago, but throughout the nation. In my opinion, the primary goal of bicycle advocacy is to get more people riding bicycles and ditching cars as much as possible. Bicycles are very positive for the environment, very economical (for now, unless Kass gets his way), very efficient, and most of all, very healthy for people by promoting exercise.

Cameras are a positive thing to help deter bicycle theft and to capture street accidents, but to enforce traffic laws (both motorist and cyclist), I'm totally against cameras for such a purpose. In this country, we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. I want only human police officers giving citations, not a camera or computer. Traffic law cameras only gain revenue for a municipality, they are not effective at saving lives as evidenced by the millions of people who continue to break traffic laws despite the cameras.

I have been a motorist, cyclist, and a pedestrian. I LOVE driving cars and I have driven since I was 16. Guess what? Speaking as a motorist, I absolutely support cycling more and I don't want cyclists to pay anything more than the purchase cost of their bicycles including ongoing maintenance and repairs. Even while driving a car for many years and I would see tons of the "bad" cyclists doing their thing, I still don't want to impose taxes, fees, licensing, and registration on cyclists. The reason is because cycling has far greater advantages for our country than promoting automobiles.

If the City of Chicago ever does this to cyclists, then I also want this to be imposed on pedestrians. I'm dead serious.

Good luck with that. Just like how Chicago's unconstitutional firearms licensing and registration has had ZERO effect on lowering violent crime and murders in Chicago, cyclists paying into "the system" will have no increased effect on getting a stolen bicycle back.

Come on now. Hundreds to thousands of bikes are stolen in Chicago every year and a minuscule amount are ever recovered by the police. Do you really think paying some annual fee would make a difference?

My last bike was stolen back in 2010. Prior to its theft, I already had it registered with Chicago and also the National Bike Registry. After its theft, I filed a police report. No annual city sticker for my bicycle would have made a difference. I'm never getting my bike back.

I'm not flaming you, I'm just saying.

Joe Willis said:

I am not apposed to a yearly bike sticker. There needs to be somthing for the money though. I would expect that the city would be responsable for the logging and up keep of seriol numbers like they do with VIN numbers. Finally is I pay for somthing that is registered if it is stolen the city must make an effort to recover it.

Trib is trolling for site hits again

Yes, on the way...we'll post a copy.


Ethan Spotts, Active Trans

Bicycle Poet said:

This is exactly the kind of shotty journalism that holds this city back.  I expect a letter to the editor from Active Trans Executive Director Burke or CDOT commissioner Klien.  The Tribune embarrasses itself by way of Kass's article, and it ought to be called out.

Within the last hour two people have posted the article on my facebook timeline.  

Response from Chicagoist:

Ours is coming soon and we're getting some partners to sign on too.


Ethan, Active Trans

For a minute I was excited at the possibility of riding a fast protected bicycle lane along the highway to the suburbs!

Interesting analysis here too:


Ethan, Active Trans

It may seem like bicycle commuting is for the elites with plenty of cash for a revenue source, since almost all of the cycling infrastructure money is spent in gentrified neighborhoods.

But throughout most of the world and quite frankly most of Chicago, bicycling is a way for the poor to get around.  

That's why there will never be a serious push to tax bike riding...imagine all of the human interest stories about the guy who can't afford a car and rides his beater bike to work to support his family.  He's barely making ends meet as it is, and is losing sleep over where he can come up with the registration fees and tolls.

Chicago Mag doin' it up with style:

+1.  This article is a must read about why and how the kind of plan Kass jokes about has been tried and abandoned elsewhere. 

Active Transportation Alliance said:

Interesting analysis here too:


Ethan, Active Trans

IF...I ever have to pay for a bike registration, I'm going to find Kass' driving route to work and plant my meandering, slow, ass in the middle of the lane in front of his car to accompany him on his commute as a fellow contributor to the great coffers of Chicago.
Otherwise, I'll continue to dodge door zones, potholes, buses, cabs, texting drivers, snow piled in bike lanes, etc.
BUT...If/when we get the registration requirement; our voices will be louder and we'll have the "I'm paying my way too..." argument everytime we rally for bike friendly improvements.
HOWEVER...Hey jackass (Kass), I'm paying property tax, sales tax, and many other taxes that pay for this fine city of ours. And as a taxpayer, I want the bicycle improvements in our city. So BACK OFF.


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