From Jim Sebastian, Manager, Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Transportation Demand Management Programs
On Thursday, June 28, DC Councilmember Phil Mendelson will hold a hearing on the Bicycle Registration Reform Act of 2007.
The bill calls for eliminating the current mandatory registration system and replacing it with a voluntary registration system using a national database.
The current system requires bicycle owners to take their bikes to a police station for registration. It also requires MPD to maintain a database of registered bicycles.
The new system would allow bicycle owners to register on-line, over the phone, or via the US mail with a national bicycle registration company. On the back end, MPD would run registration numbers of stolen bikes in their possession through the national database.
DDOT is testifying in favor of the legislation.
The hearing (of the COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE JUDICIARY) is scheduled for 2:00 PM in ROOM 412 of the Wilson Building (14th and Penn Ave, NW). Please contact the committee directly if you would like to testify. You can also submit your comments in writing to the Committee, and you can watch the hearing live on the web or DC cable.
Though it appears you needed to sign up two weeks ago to speak:
The Council invites citizens to testify at public hearings. Council Rules require notification to the public in the DC Register at least 15 days before the hearing. Persons wishing to speak may sign up by calling the appropriate standing committee or 724-8000. Time allocated for each speaker is determined by the Committee chairperson. Organization representatives generally receive 5 minutes, and individuals 3 minutes. Witnesses are asked to bring written copies of testimony so that each Councilmember, Council staff, and the Secretary to the Council can have a copy.
Speakers often use their time to summarize more extensive written testimony which is submitted for the record. The committee chair or other Councilmembers present may ask questions of witnesses to elicit more information.
No webcast of city council meetings though. They want to stay squarely ensconced in the 20th century. This law isn't going to impact too many people, but for those who like to follow all the laws a.k.a "foot droppers", here's one less to worry about - and there have been reports (in City Paper for one) of abuse of this law.