Chicago Considers Licensing to Increase Bike Safety
Bike safety is a priority for the city of Chicago, especially since the number of people who commute to work continues to rise. US Census data
estimated that the amount of people who biked to work increased by almost 14 percent from 2011 to 2012. That means that there are nearly 20,000 residents of Chicago who are riding bikes on major thoroughfares.
That increase has caused 3rd
ward Alderman Pat Dowell to propose a registration fee
for bike owners in the city. This was also proposed because the $25 dollar fee will cut into Chicago's budget deficit. The bike license program would be in place of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's plan to increase the TV tax by 50 percent. The city is estimated to receive around nine million dollars from the increase.
Dowell told the Tribune about her proposal that "having bike owners, of which I am one, pay some kind of registration fee-- $25 – and at the same time you register you also take a class on bike safety and rules of the road." While certain cyclists abide by the rules, others are more aggressive and take chances.
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel
has echoed the sentiment of bikers in the city by not supporting the measure. Since he was sworn in as mayor, Emmanuel has made Chicago a better place to bike. He introduced measures such as protected bike lanes, increased the amount of bike lanes and improved the Divvy bike rental program. He also does not want police responsible for ticketing unlicensed bikers when the city has such a problem with violent crime.
The executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, Ron Burke, offered more reasons to scrap the tax measure. He is unaware of any city in the United States which requires a bike license. And that while "we share the goal of wanting to improve safety, but we think there are better ways to achieve it." If you are biking in the city and are injured in a car accident
, you may be able to seek compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in DuPage County
to review your case today.