New York Daily News

Qns. pol slammed for saying cyclists should be licensed


Queens City Councilwom­an Vickie Paladino peddled the idea Monday that biking in the city should be subject to licensing and insurance requiremen­ts — drawing backlash from safe-street advocates who flew off the handle in response to the logistical­ly dubious proposal.

Paladino (photo below), a Republican, floated the notion of regulation­s on twowheel riding in response to a bike crash that happened in Prospect Park over the weekend.

“If only cyclists were required to register, display plates, and carry liability insurance ... incidents like this — which happen frequently — would have accountabi­lity,” Paladino tweeted of the Sunday bicycle accident. “As cycling becomes a bigger part of our transit mix, it is crucial that accountabi­lity follow along, for the sake of everyone who must share space with these riders. Cycling can no longer be a free-for-all in New York City.”

Paladino did not elaborate on which agency would regulate bike riding in the city or how exactly a registrati­on system would work. A spokeswoma­n for Paladino did not immediatel­y return a request for comment.

The crash referenced by Paladino involved Brooklyn resident Kathy Park Price, who alleged a race biker named Kevin crashed into her from behind while she was riding a Citi Bike in the park.

Recounting the incident on Twitter, Price wrote she tried to get the cyclist’s informatio­n “multiple times” after the crash, but that he peeled off without providing it after a group of other bicyclists he was riding with told him to bail.

“Dude is a complete d--k and so are his friends,” tweeted Price, an organizer with the Transporta­tion Alternativ­es group.

Price, whose group advocates for making biking, walking and public transit more accessible in the city, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon on Paladino’s biking regulation push.

Other bike enthusiast­s and safe-street activists blasted Paladino’s proposal.

“How about my 8 year old. How about my nephew who comes to visit and brings his bike. How about citi bike riders,” Brooklyn-based filmmaker Eric Jankstrom tweeted at the Republican lawmaker. “How about rewarding folks for cycling instead of punishing them and making it harder.”

Patrick Bobilin, a one-time Democratic candidate for an Upper East Side-based seat in the state Assembly, questioned what good a bike registrati­on system would do.

“We can’t even keep a lid on cars, which are required to do all of the above and literally kill more New Yorkers than guns,” Bobilin tweeted at Paladino. “So explain how this would magically work better.”

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