News Details
Council Adopts New Voluntary Online Bicycle Registration Process
In addition to co-sponsoring the motion with Councilmembers Garcia and DeLong, Vice Mayor Lowenthal made a "friendly amendment" at Council to request that City staff return with an online bicycle registration program for residents, businesses and police to use in Long Beach. 

The online registry will allow residents and bicycle shops to register without going to Fire stations, whose staff may or may not be available at that moment to register a bike.  It also allows police departments in other cities to track down an owner of a bicycle from Long Beach, should the stolen bike be recovered.  Finally, unlike the City's current registration process, a person may not re-register a bike (perhaps stolen) that has already been registered under a particular serial number, thus protecting an owner in the event their bike is stolen.

To register your bicycle online with the National Bike Registry, please click here.

To view the actual Council motion and subsequent staff report, please see below.

Date: December 14, 2010

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

From: Councilmember Robert Garcia, First District
Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, Second District
Councilmember Gary DeLong, Third District

Subject: Bicycle Registration


BACKGROUND:

The City of Long Beach currently requires all residents who ride a bicycle to register their Bike with the City. This program was designed to enhance police responses to reports of stolen bicycles, and also to provide an opportunity to educate cyclists about bicycle laws, safety, and road courtesy.
However, the registration program has been a challenge to cyclists. Most cyclists do not register. The times and locations available for registration fire stations on Saturday mornings are not convenient, and even during those hours, registration services are often unavailable due to the other responsibilities of the fire fighters. The registration process does not include proof of ownership, nor does it include any educational element.
The registration program costs more money than it generates. Furthermore, enforcement is difficult since cyclists who are not residents of Long Beach cannot be required to register, and no neighboring cities require registration. Few California cities, in fact, require registration. Los Angeles eliminated its mandatory registration requirement, and Santa Monica has encountered problems similar to those Long Beach is experiencing.
The cyclist community in Long Beach is almost unanimous in opposing mandatory registration and support making the program voluntary. Doing so would allow those cyclists concerned about theft to register with the City, but also would eliminate the problems of requiring registration without providing the necessary services to make registration convenient and practical.

RECOMMENDATION

Request the City Manager to report to Council in 30 days the feasibility, costs and benefit analysis of eliminating the bicycle registration requirement and instead moving towards a voluntary registration program.



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