Ok so maybe that is a bit of an overblown title, but Cambridge is back at it again, proposing new bike laws (and taxes?), that in this humble bloggers opinion are a total waste of time and money.
Bicyclists may soon have to register and pay excise taxes on their gear to roam Cambridge, said City Manager Robert W. Healy, giving in Monday to a regular sounding of alarms from residents, City Council candidates and city officials.
“We are hearing the people, we are hearing the councillors representing the people,” Healy said at Monday’s council meeting. “We will spend more time on bicycle enforcement. It’s never going to be perfect — you’re always going to see a bicyclist, just as you can see a motorist, violating the law and there isn’t an officer right on the scene to write a citation. But it is certainly something officers are instructed to enforce.”
There are changes to laws that will have to be made and questions that need to be addressed, Healy said, including making bicyclists show identification when stopped and how best to redirect law enforcement from other tasks.
Read the rest here.
Thing is how is the tiny city of Cambridge going to enforce all the bike traffic from say…Boston. How are they going to prove you purchased that bicycle in Cambridge. Will there be border agents asking for your papers when you cross the Longfellow? People like to shout and make a fuss about licenses for bikers, and registration, and they raise questions about hit and runs etc.
Basically there is no good way to do bike licenses, taxes, or any other bike regulation of this nature on a town by town basis. It simply wont work. It will cost WAY more to implement and enforce than you will get from the program, and it will be challenged in court to the hilt.
On top of all that, its not going to actually do what they want to get done. If they want better rule following, enforce the existing laws better for all user groups, educate all road users, and build more (and better) bicycle infrastructure. Those three have been proven to work, while license and registration schemes have failed many times.
The article does say they hope to simplify and universalize the rules, and increase enforcement (which is great so long as its for every road user), but the tax and tag approach is almost certainly doomed to failure.
Its simple, if you want more cyclists obeying the law, enforce, educate, and engineer.
Tags: cambridge, laws, silly, tax
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