Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 12th, 2009 at 12:32 pm
It has been interesting to follow the widespread discussion spurred by the proposal in the Oregon legislature that would establish a $54, mandatory bike registration fee in Oregon. Even though the bill is highly unlikely to pass, it has drawn the attention of advocates, the media, and citizens like few other issues I have covered.
Yesterday, a reader sent me over an email newsletter sent out by one of the sponsors of the bill — Representative Sal Esquivel, a Republican from Medford. In that email, Esquivel admits that the bill, “may never see the light of day”, but he also defends the idea on similar grounds as his fellow co-sponsor on the bill, Rep. Wayne Krieger (learn more about what he thinks of the bill in my interview with him last week).
“It may transform into a piece of legislation that helps keep bikers safe or improves riding circumstances for bikers that commute.”
— Rep. Esquivel
Esquivel writes that “the phone has been ringing and the emails are flying” and that the reaction his office has heard so far from “bicycle enthusiasts” is “the oh no you don’t. Don’t tax my recreation.” Esquivel understands that reaction but then goes on to write, “but Share the Road — Share the Load”.
“With the ever growing concern over income at the city and county level all avenues must be explored,” he writes.
Like Rep. Krieger, Esquivel seems to see this proposed law as being a positive thing for biking in Oregon. He writes:
“The bill – well it may never see the light of day. Then again, it may transform into a piece of legislation that helps keep bikers safe or improves riding circumstances for bikers that commute.”
“So hang in there with us,” Esquivel concludes in his e-newsletter, “change is happening!”
— For full coverage of this story, browse all our stories at the “bike registration bill” tag.
(Thanks to Evan Manvel for the heads up on this.)