Bike fees? A 2-sided question
Dear Mahatma: Would it be unreasonable to require bicyclists to help pay for all the bike trails and bike lanes in the Little Rock area by requiring bike registration fees?
— Non-Cycler Bill Dear Bill: Our first reaction to this idea was that registering bicycles is nonsensical.
Ha! As The Fabulous Babe often says — wrong again.
There are indeed cities around this great nation that require bicycles to be registered. As in, Honolulu.
In that Hawaiian city, all bicycles with wheels 20 inches or larger are required to be registered. A one-time fee is $15; when ownership of a bicycle is transferred, the fee is $5.
The owner gets a decal to be affixed to the bicycle frame’s seat tube facing in the forward direction. Bicycle registration is administered by the city’s Department of Customer Services, which we believe every city should have. Money raised goes to projects that improve and enhance bicycling.
Wait. We’re wrong again. Or incomplete. Hawaii. gov, the official website of the Aloha State, reports that bicycle registration is statewide, and is administered — in addition to Honolulu — by the state’s three counties.
But your question — is it unreasonable to license bicycles in these parts and use the fees for bike trails and bike lanes?
Darned if we know. That’s both a legal question and a political question.
We have scoured the state’s transportation code (fee is $1.50 an hour, based on our expertise) and find nothing that would allow or prohibit a municipality from imposing a fee. Please note, our law degree came from the back of a box of Rice Krispies.
The political part is more interesting. Could the Little Rock Board of Directors, or the North Little Rock City Council, be persuaded to impose licensing and fees? Could the General Assembly be persuaded to pass legislation that specifically gives counties and municipalities the authority to license bicycles and assess fees?
Exercise your constitutional right to petition government, dear reader. Please keep us informed.
Dear Mahatma: Driving Interstate 30 between Little Rock and Benton there are signs that say “Trucks Use Two Right Lanes.” Is this a law, or a kind suggestion? Every time I drive this span of I-30, trucks are using all lanes. Just wondering.
— Karen Dear Karen: Jay Thompson, chief of the Arkansas Highway Police, tells us this is not a suggestion. And that his agency — whose main mission is enforcement of laws pertaining to commercial trucking and roadways — has issued nearly 500 citations so far this year for disobeying a traffic control device, some of which were for truckers who failed to heed this particular admonishment.
He also urges regular folks to share the road with truckers. His officers sometimes see noncommercial vehicles failing to give truckers the opportunity to move over on this part of I-30 by passing in the right two lanes.
In other words, people, share the road.
Vanity plate on a Mercedes: JOBLESS.