Bicyclist

A bicyclist cruises along the Farmers Loop Road bike path while taking advantage of the snowless weather Wednesday afternoon, October 23, 2019.

Without discussion, Fairbanks City Council advanced an ordinance that would eliminate the section of city code that requires all bicycles operated in the city to have a bicycle license. The ordinance also requires a $20 fine for those caught without a bicycle license.

While the code was written to help Fairbanks Police Department identify lost and stolen bicycles, it has not been effective, largely because so few people are aware of the program.

Councilwoman Shoshana Kun, who introduced the ordinance, said she knew of only one bicycle being registered with FPD in the last year. She also said that according to her research, the associated fine had not been levied on anyone in several years, at least.

“It’s not a very well-known program. It’s not well-known that you can register your bike,” Kun said.

The ordinance, should it pass, would repeal the part of the city code requiring a license to operate a bicycle in the city and the $20 fine associated with not having one. However, it would not eliminate the ability for the police department to continue with a voluntary program.

Kun said she would encourage everyone in Fairbanks to register their bicycles voluntarily, but felt that the code was no longer relevant.

“It’s just archaic,” she said, “It’s got to go.”

The item will be discussed again at the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 24.