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Encourage, Don't Regulate Cycling

December 17, 1995

The Times has recently published letters advocating the mandatory registration of bicycles. We do not agree.

The purposes of imposing a registration fee are to regulate the vehicles registered and to provide facilities for them to use. [The] Orange County Bicycle Coalition feels that bicycles are appropriate ways to meet some of the county's mobility needs and should be encouraged, not taxed or regulated. Bicyclists fit into places in the road system (e.g. wide curb lanes) that are provided for the convenience of motorists; road maintenance costs attributable to bicycles are virtually zero, unlike those due to cars or trucks. Bicycle trails are low cost per user recreational facilities, much cheaper than (for example) equestrian trails.

We think there is a great deal of anger toward bicyclists among motorists (and letters-to-the-editor writers), an anger that we believe is related to two facts: First, cyclists are having fun, and second, they are able to ride past motor vehicle congestion. These facts are related, and we don't think they'll diminish any time soon. Neither will the fact that bicyclists are helping to solve motorists' major problem: congestion. We suggest that motorists focus on the fact that every bicyclist represents one less car, and drive considerately, rather than using their cars to express their anger.


Chairman, OCBC


Executive director, OCBC


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