City council considers eliminating bike registry provision

City council considers eliminating bike registry provision

By Erich Wagner (File photo)

The city council introduced a bill last week that would remove an arcane piece of Alexandria bicycle regulations that requires local shops to log every sale of a two-wheeler with police.

The city reviewed and updated its decades-old bicycle laws in the spring, but police officials asked for the unenforced requirement to remain on the books. The ensuing uproar from cycling activists and business owners prompted city councilors to revisit the measure.

Although authorities initially said they were contemplating a local database, which would help track down stolen bikes, Police Chief Earl Cook later said the department had changed its tune. Instead, police opted to embrace an existing — and voluntary — national database.

“There’s no utility,” Cook told city councilors in June. “With the transitory nature of theft and moving bikes, the national registry is a better option than doing it locally.”

City Councilor Justin Wilson said during the summer that he was always in favor of removing the registry provision along with other outdated rules.

“The whole section was written in 1963, so most of it was very anachronistic,” he said. “In the context of review, my view all along was that the provision should go.”

The city council will hold a public hearing and vote on the proposal at a meeting Saturday morning.