Bicyclists Blast Proposal To License Riders

CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. Richard Mell is suggesting that the city of Chicago should license bicycle riders–and ticket them when break traffic laws.

The bicyclists Mell would target have little use for the idea.

Mell said his primary concern in making the proposal is safety, not city finances. One person called the idea “dumb,” another “mildly ridiculous.” Still others ask if it’s just another city money grab.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

Seth is a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago He asks how a depleted police force would be expected to check for licenses.

“Its an insane idea, because if you you are charging people to ride their bikes, why not license them to walk on the sidewalk to pay for all the new sidewalk,” he said.

Marcus Rodriguez brings his bicycle downtown, from DeKalb. He calls licensing impractical.

“For people from out of town, it would be really hard to get into the city and acquire a license for something we that we only do once in a while,” he said.

Another called it “nickel and diming” those who use bicycles and said that if the aldermen don’t want people to ride bicycles, they should just say so.

  • Ken

    Will out of towners be ticketed by this money grabber, too?

  • aaron block

    being a bike rider and a car driver. i think it is great. bikes ride around like they own the road which motorists pay for. i witness on a daily basis many times blowing of lights, stop signs, lanes and going the wrong way down one way streets. i stay out of their precious bike lane, stay out of mine. and critical mass is nothing more than a drunken time to annoy motorists.

  • Da Southside

    2012 is Cycle Wars – its the irresponsible cyclist that have caused the backlash from the majority of the public, you go Ald Mell – great idea…I will call my Ald to support the proposal today !!!

  • Crickey7

    Ok, Aaron, how exactly does licensing fix that problem? If a cop sees it, they will ticket the cyclist whether or not they have a license. If they don’t see it, they won’t ticket regardless of whether ro not they have a license.

    If the issue is “tairness”, then fine. Cycliss shouldget licnenses as soon as driversa re required to wear helmets, and motorcycle riiders seatbelts. THat makes just as much sense as requiringcyclists to get expensive and unneeded licenses.

  • trick r treat

    Mell = idiot. You should be encouraging bike riding for its many benefits, not discouraging it.

  • Speedy Biker

    This should lead to more jobs. Just think of all the kids who need to be licensed. This department could rival the DMV! I hope my toddler doesn’t get pulled over in my driveway for not yielding to a pedestrian while on his trike. Brilliant.

  • Driver

    I think its a great idea. There are way too many bicyclists on the road that do not follow the traffic signs or regular rules of the road. If there is anyone to blame, it would be them.

  • Crickey7

    Question for Driver:

    In the last ten times you drove, during how many did you break a traffic law? Please include exceeding the posted speed limit and using a cell phone while driving. Double points if you did 2 at once, like running a red light while speeding.

  • JDChic

    Whether its for safety or money or whatever.. gov’t has no business in whether I have the right t ride a bike or not! Maybe we should license trick or treaters- for their “safety” Smaller gov’t

  • STR

    Mell is hungry cat for money, he’s a fat cat and probably never used a bike before, since he earns six figure income and has the police driving him around.

  • Chicagoan

    Well, if nothing else, perhaps it could reign in those nuts that ride that Critical Mass garbage. These people are the rudest bicyclists around. And a danger to motorists, pedestrians and themselves!

  • Chuck

    About Time, bycliclists cause accidents and just keep going on their merry way.

  • Jerry O Henderson

    I said it once,and I will say it again, vote out those a@#^ H@#$% .In the meantime we should vote to get rid of some of them,they donot do anything 80% of the time anyway.That would be a step in reducing the deficit for the city.

  • kevin

    When a city starts grubbing money from bicyclists it’s time for some serious changes. That means it’s time for the city to devote just as much pavement/geograpic acreage to bikers as is devoted to motorists. I mean, if we bikers are going to pay taxes just to ride, do we get streets devoted solely to us? Do we get anywhere near the land alloted for our parking as motorists are alloted? You pull into a typical mall parking lot now and you’ll find a bike rack that will accomdate, like, six bikes–and maybe 25 square feet are set aside for it. Meanwhile, a million square feet have been set aside for the motorists.

    • Just Saying

      FYI – Malls are privately owned properties.
      Take up that issue of bike racks at malls with the mall owners not governmental bodies.

  • GrammarCop

    The police have their hands full with crime. Why burden them with enforcement of something that’s not enforceable…how many bike scofflaws do you think there will be??? How do you suppose they’d collect on citations issued to tourists??? And what’s to stop me from not carrying my ID when I ride and give a bogus name and hometown???

  • melissa

    If a cyclist breaks the law now, a police officer is able to issue a ticket. So what is the point of a cyclist license?

  • bobhaaga

    Just this morning on California between Irving and Elston I saw 4 riders blow off stop lights and they all did not stop at stop signs. I i did this I would have a ticket for sure. Even if they do see they will not ticket. At least I did not Kill one of them today.

  • Richard Koehler

    Firstly let me say that I rode a lightweight tricycle for several years and followed the traffic laws.
    I support the idea of enforcing those laws I have seen several persons over the age of sixteen riding on side walks this endangers pedestrians.
    Though I don’t see how licensing riders would end this practice.

  • SafeDriver

    I LOVE the idea. I believe this is just symptomatic of the larger frustration a lot of us drivers have with the few irresponsible bikers we are forced to share the road with. I mean share. When you have cyclists who blow through stop signs, go the wrong way down one way streets, cut dangerously between moving cars (in short, choosing to completely ignore the traffic laws the rest of us must abide by) then, it’s time to crack down. When one group of road users is allowed to pick which road rules they think they should abide by and which ones are a nuisance to them, then it’s about time we do something to seriously crack down. Maybe licensing isn’t the answer, but some needs to be done to get these irresponsible road users to follow the same laws as the rest of us.

    • BuriedTrevor

      There may be a few irresponsible cyclists on the road, but that doesn’t even compare to the vast majority of distracted drivers and people who just don’t care. I’m a responsible cyclist, but even when driving, I’d still much rather have a cyclist not stop at an empty intersection than see a driver blow through a red light or double park in a bike lane. I don’t know how often I’ve seen drivers texting or on their smart phones in the city, but cyclists can’t be that irresponsible because we have to be hyper-aware of our surroundings.

  • Christine

    As a person who does not drive but does ride a bike on a very regular basis, I totally agree with drivers and their annoyance with the cyclists who don’t follow the rules of the road, i.e. not adhering to stop signs, blowing through traffic lights, yielding to pedestrians, adults who are not seniors or children riding on the sidewalk. This behavior can and does cause accidents. But I also understand cyclists’ annoyance with many drivers, who don’t pay attention on the road, open car doors without looking, take up the bike lane, are just generally aggressive to cyclists, etc. The Chicago streets are dangerous for both drivers and cyclists. But to propose licensing for cyclists is just another nickel-and-dime scheme from a city who has mismanaged its money. Licensing a cyclist is not going to stop the bad behavior of some cyclists. (And I also think that a majority of the cyclists in this city don’t realize there is an actually rule book for them that they should read.) While some officers do enforce bicycle laws, everyone would have to agree that we certainly can’t expect the police force in this city to enforce these because they don’t follow the rules of the road either. And as someone else mentioned in a previous post, are we going to license children too? If everybody just stopped being so self-centered, put their cell phones down, and paid attention, we wouldn’t have these problems. An additional post was correct, we should be encouraging bike riding in this city. As a P.S. to one of the posts, it’s not illegal for a bicyclist to go the opposite way down a one-way street (mainly side streets), but they must be on the correct side of the road and yield to oncoming traffic if needed.

  • Antonio Mendez

    Having a automobile driver’s licence, or a commercial driver’s licence or other type of motorized driver’s licence is not a guarantee of a safe driver. Why would issuing (selling) bicycle licenses guarantee any more safe riders. There are already rules of the road for cyclists, they are just ignored by many cyclists…

  • FINE 'em

    I love ridding my bike around chicago. I obey MOST but not all ridding laws. If I see that its completely safe and not going to harm, startle or make pedestrian and/or cars put on the brakes, I’ll blow stop signs and red lights. But im a man: meaning I use logic. But I completely get annoyed when im driving my car and other bikers think they can jump in front of me. Its like the saying goes… You cant have expectations for others, cause when they dont meet your expectations, youre the only one thats dissapointed.

  • Chuck

    Cyclists are capable and able to cause accidents that result in bodily injury and/or property damage, Why shouldn’t they be held liable when the accident is trhe result of the actions? Without a means of identifiing the offender how can they be held accountable?

  • trish d

    Time to move out of the city of Chicago….and it’s a joke when each alderman says it’s nothing to do with revenue. Really now, who are they kidding? tickets, licenses, tax….what’s next? Oh yeah……how about ALL NEW POLITICIANS!!!

  • Noah W. Hardt

    ummmm the police can issue tickets already to bikers if they break the rules of the road. But do you really think police give a damn or will even waste their time with that stuff. I would hope they would focus more of their time on preventing real crimes.

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