Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee Unanimously Votes to Remove Bicycle License Program

Yesterday afternoon, the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee voted unanimously to remove the bicycle license program. The next step requires the full City Council vote to strike this archaic municipal code from the books.

This item came up for discussion at around 4pm yesterday. Both the Fire Rescue and the SDPD presented their findings on how the code was unenforced and the fact that the code had resulted in no revenue for the past three years for any of the city departments. Committee Chair Marti Emerald, expressed surprise that this code existed and was very much in favor of striking this code from the City’s Municipal Code and stated, “most of the public isn’t aware of it either so we’d have a difficult time enforcing it on any broad scale.”

Committee member Lorie Zapf made a motion to accept the staff recommendation to change the municipal code and stated that she was, “happy to [make a motion to accept the recommendation] so that my family will no longer be illegally riding the streets of San Diego.” Committee member David Alvarez also expressed surprise asking, “we were really required to have a license to ride a bike?” He went on to state that he had received many emails in support of removing this section of the code which Emerald also echoed. In all, we got about 30 individuals to send in letters of support in favor of removing this municipal code from the books.

There was a bit of confusion on who had initiated efforts on pushing this issue. As Marti Emerald noted in her last newsletter,

The August eNews edition referenced the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition as initiating the effort to modify bicycle registration requirements. While the Coalition was involved, the effort was led by Councilmember Emerald’s office regrets the error.

Alvarez expressed support for our advocacy efforts as well and we thank all of you who called or emailed in your support.

We have to make a special note of thanks to Committee Consultant Drew Ector who ensured that our first foray into the City’s bureaucratic process was smooth. He was very proactive and patiently explained the details of how this process would work.

Stay tuned for the last hurdle we need to jump through before we can really call this a victory.