MAY 2002
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Bicycle Bickering

From World Journal
April 26, 2002

The City Council is proposing to require registration and insurance for all bicycles for commercial use. Many worry that the proposal will increase operating costs for Chinese take-out restaurants and messenger service companies.

In a public hearing on Sidewalk Safety hosted by John Liu, chairperson of the City Council Transportation Committee, city residents raised complaints about newspaper boxes as well as bicycles on every street corner. Some said many take-out deliverymen and messengers ride bicycles on sidewalks and often cause accidents.

Many city residents complain that although some bicyclists use the roads, they often run through red lights, go against the traffic or ride recklessly posing a threat to pedestrians.

Some suggested that all regulations regarding bicycles should be publicized in English, Chinese and Spanish so delivery personnel and messengers are informed. Community Board 6 of Manhattan recently passed a resolution to make regulation of bicycles a priority and will ask law enforcement units to carry it out.

Those who support regulation of bicycles said the state law mandates that the bicycle is a vehicle for transportation and thus should be required to register. Those who oppose legislation on bicycles said current law forbids riding bicycles on sidewalks, and that there is no need for additional regulations since they are already under general traffic regulations.

To streamline the regulation of bicycles, the City Council is considering a proposal that requires all bicycles for commercial use to register and all riders are required to purchase liability insurance.

Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung

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