(CBS) — Near South Side Ald. Pat Dowell said Thursday that she has been inundated since proposing an annual $25 licensing fee for bicycles.

Dowell said she did not realize she would be “stepping into a firestorm” when she made the proposal, almost off-handedly.

READ MORE: Local Businesses Hope For Similar Outcome Of Shoppers For Small Business Saturday

She now says she would levy the tax by bicycle, but would consider exempting seniors, low-income Chicagoans and children. She said she wants to generate revenue and promote safety.

READ MORE: Person Hospitalized Following Shooting On I-290

Dowell would not charge extra for safety courses. But she said the city should be asking cyclists to pay for the bike lanes, special traffic signals and other improvements it has made for them.

“All of those things have a cost,” she says. “And just like car owners pay their way, bike owners should pay their way as well.”

MORE NEWS: Man Robbed And Shot In Austin

Dowell projects 200,000 will register. Tickets would be issued for non-compliance.