Council Member Tom LaBonge Responds to Streetsblog’s Bike Licensing Story

Yesterday, Council Member Tom LaBonge called to follow-up on our bicycle licensing story from Monday.

Labonge took issue with a couple of parts of the story, both that we reached out for comment several times (it seems to be a communications issue between me and their office team) and that outreach for the proposal is sub-par. It’s not sub-par the Council Member argues, it just hasn’t happened yet.

Councilman LaBonge poses with cyclists before his office's "Positively 4th Street" bike ride in 2008. Photo: Tom

The Council Member stated:

The one key that I wanted to express to you is that government runs on statistics.

You can say you don’t want a license, Michelle Mowery doesn’t want a license, DOT doesn’t want a license.But unless there are numbers…when we have numbers it always backs you up.

In issues of theft and recovery, in issues of injury and accident, especially solo riders having some way to contact family, it (licenses) can be helpful.

We always work with community organizations. When we introduce motions at Council we don’t just rush it through, we have outreach.

There’s one comment…”We’re honestly just puzzled by this proposal, which was resurrected with zero input from bicyclists,” writes Eric Bruins from the county coalition.

The county coalition has a place in every discussion that’s taking place on bicycles right now and they will be discussed with.

We thank the Council Member for reaching out to us, and we’ll be sure to speak with him if and when this proposal moves forward.

11 thoughts on Council Member Tom LaBonge Responds to Streetsblog’s Bike Licensing Story

  1. Yes, a government runs on statistics and numbers matter, but it isn’t helpful if you don’t have the right numbers. Eric’s earlier point about institutionalizing bike and ped counts is a better solution, giving you both numbers AND patterns, thereby being exponentially more useful for government planning purposes. Moreover, if there is genuine concern about things like collisions, then how about focusing on more accurate collision data first? The idea that, just a few weeks ago, we posted about a young woman injured in an event witnessed by two whole police officers but the traffic officer said he couldn’t make a determination of fault because the officers hadn’t taken a traffic course is perhaps one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in a long while (minus the recent govt. shut down). Numbers of collisions are important, but not without some data on the how and why they happen. Without that component, appropriate fixes to prevent future collisions are hard to come by. Data matters, in other words, but it has to be the right data. Data for data’s sake is a waste of incredibly scarce resources. And silly, if you want to use the technical term.

  2. Via sales tax information, it is fairly easy to get picture of how many bicycles are extant in Los Angeles. Based on bis argument, L.A. should license shoes to judge how many pedestrians there are.

  3. Does he want to know how many bicycles in LA there are or how many cyclists there are on the road? There are a variety of ways of estimating the number of cyclists on the road. Does Labonge believe that we won’t be able to quantify the increasing use of bicycles in the future if we don’t have stickers on our frames? Does he believe that cities that have made real progress have had to rely on registration to keep track of bicycle use?
    I imagine that bicycle registration would be most people with people buying beach cruisers for their children.

  4. LaBong is just a fucking moron lets just be honest. His words are nearly incomprehensible but his logic is just complete rubbish and for all the reasons stated in the comments here. For O’Farrel to attach himself to this old tired loudmouth ape is pretty disappointing. I had high hopes for O’Farrel. Cant wait till LaBong get termed out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Pick the New Metro Board Member

Last week, City Council Member Bernard Parks abruptly announced he would be stepping down as a member of the Metro Board.  Speculation for Parks’ resignation ranged from concerns about ethics allegations from groups such as Damien Goodmons’ Fix Expo organization to people thinking it would be awkward for the Councilman to serve next to County […]

“Weekend Update:” What Happened at the Big Bike Meeting

For a veteran of Transportation Committee Hearings, today was a strange day.  Maybe it was that instead of thirty people wearing suits, the committee room was full of over 100 bike activists wearing just about everything from suits to spandex.  Or maybe it was Councilman Rosendahl basically yelling at the LAPD.  Or maybe it was […]

Meet Your New Transportation Committee, Chaired by Mike Bonin

We just received confirmation from Council Member Mike Bonin’s office that Bonin will  replace his former boss Bill Rosendahl as Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee. The Westside’s Council District 11, which Bonin represents, is home to two of the largest infrastructure projects in the region, the 405 Widening through the Sepulveda Pass and […]

Breaking News: LAPD Recommends Discontinuing Bike License Program

In a report to the City Council, Chief William Bratton of the LAPD recommends to the City Council the discontinuation of the wildly unpopular bicycle licensing programming and announces that the LAPD will no longer enforce bicycle licensing unless the Los Angeles City Council. That the Council would push for the implementation of this program […]