Igmar Rodas, an outspoken activist on homeless and police issues, was cited by Santa Ana Police Officer S. Lopez on May 20 for riding an unlicensed bicycle and cycling on a sidewalk in the city’s Civic Center, according to the Voice of OC.
Rodas runs the SAPD – Stop Abusing People’s Derechos Facebook page. He is going to go to court this week on Wednesday to fight the bike ticket he received from the SAPD.
The city of Long Beach, which many biking advocates consider a regional leader on bike-friendliness, eliminated its bike license requirement in 2011. Los Angeles suspended its licensing program in 2009.
The decision by the City of Long Beach to scrap its little-known bike licensing law and registration program was a victory for cyclists upset over being hit with pricey tickets for an infraction that seemed out of keeping with Long Beach’s pledge to become “the most bicycle-friendly city in America.” Bike registration will become voluntary, with city officials directing cyclists to list their bikes online with the National Bike Registry., according to the L.A. Times.
Why the City of Santa Ana even has a bike registration program is a very good question. It is clearly a mechanism to punish the poorest people in our community and this is not what you would expect from a city that is pretending to be bike friendly.
According to the City of Santa Ana, the goal of their bike registration program is to reduce traffic accidents involving school age children. Great. So make it a voluntary registration and offer a way to sign up online. Currently you have to go to the SAPD to get a bike registration. What a waste of time – and the parking is not free! And for the record the city’s bike registration page is not offered in Spanish. They provide a translating tool but unless someone knows how to use that, good luck.
Why have an All Latino City Council, a Latino City Manager and a Latino Police Chief if they are going to be punishing our people for riding bikes?
For the record no one in my family has ever registered any of our bikes. We never heard of this city ordinance until now. And none of us have ever been cited. But we live in a well to do neighborhood in North Santa Ana. I wonder if the SAPD is profiling bike riders in the poorer parts of our city?
Rodas thinks so – and he has video evidence to back up this theory: