Should Oregon require $10 registration fee for bicycles?

SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon lawmaker proposed a bill that would require bicyclists to pay a $10 registration fee.

The fees would go toward a state bicycle transportation improvement fund to pay for development and upkeep of bicycle lanes, bicycle paths and other projects.

Some bicyclists are willing to pay a little more in taxes but are opposed to the registration fee.

"I am not at all opposed to paying more in taxes to see more benefits to cyclists implemented in city planning and new development with fixing the roadways," said Andrew Alef, a bicyclist and employee at Bicycle Way of Life in Eugene.

Alef owns eight bicycles and doesn't want to pay for each one.

"If it were the case that I would have to pay to register each one of my bikes individually," he said. "That seems unfair to me because I can only ride one bike at a time."

Others are worried the law is trying to punish cyclists and argue most cyclists already pay taxes towards infrastructure. "The infrastructure that is involved with roads and highways does not come exclusively out of the fund for gasoline taxes but also the state general fund," said Michael Martin. Martin said most people who ride bikes have cars as well. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Larry George, R-Sherwood, has not yet had a hearing, and it's unclear whether it would have a state revenue impact.

Senate Bill 769 outlines several other restrictions that would be imposed if someone didn't register a bike, namely a $25 fine for failure to register. Cyclists would also be penalized if they don't report a change of ownership or address.
"I understand the value of registering to recover a stolen bike but I don't want to do anything to discourage bicyclist and I think it would probably lead to less bicycle riding than more," said bicyclist Christine Thompson.
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