By Peter Bella, Thursday at 11:13 am
Alderman Pat Dowell proposed that adult bicyclists be required to pay a $25 registration fee. According to her projections this could raise millions of dollars in revenue. Mayor Rahm Emanuel carefully and respectfully shot the idea down.
John Kass has his own take on this.
Like former Mayor Daley and trees, trees, trees, Rahm Emanuel is in love with bikes, bikes, bikes. Cyclists are one of his favorite constituencies.
Since Emanuel took the reins of Chicago governance, cyclists and bike lanes proliferated faster than breeding rabbits .
Cyclists are all over Chicago streets, in and out of bike lanes, going the wrong way in traffic or on one way streets, riding on sidewalks, swerving in and out of traffic, running red lights and stop signs, almost slamming into pedestrians by failing to slow down, and generally creating havoc.
Many are an assault on the senses with their varied costumes.
There is a better idea than just a bike registration fee. Make cyclists pay to park their bikes.
Bicyclists should pay to park their bicycles on the public way just like motorists.
Cyclists pay the registration fee and get a numbered metal plate to affix on their bike. Elongated bicycles and others modified for special use pay a higher fee, just like trucks, vans, and SUVs.
Then, like motorists, they pay to use bike racks, street sign poles, lamp posts, or any other place on the public way where they park and lock their bicycles. Fail to pay or go over their time, and they get whacked with a $60 parking ticket. If they have no registration plate, the bicycle gets impounded. Then, they pay towing and impound fees.
Imagine the amount of revenue the city could generate.
The ubiquitous parking boxes could and should be used. In areas where there are no boxes, new ones just for cyclists could and should be installed.
Parking “meters” for bicycles is an idea whose time has finally come. Since cyclists are multiplying rapidly, they should pay through the nose just like motorists. It has the possibility to generate tens of millions of dollars a year.
Since bicycle riders demand so much coddling, emotional support, and special treatment by the city, they should pay for it.
Oh, and there should be a high fee on that blight called ghost bikes. If cyclists want to put up ugly monuments to dead riders they should buy a permit and pay a yearly fee. That would generate more revenue and make up for the blight.