Ride a bike in Alhambra? Better make sure your license is in place. Riding on the sidewalks? Be careful! Recently on the city website, the police notified the public that they plan to aggressively ticket anyone operating a bicycle on sidewalks with a promised fine of $45-$350!
While Alhambra boasts some wonderful streets for cycling, and residents are working on bringing more awareness to choices other than cars through the newly formed Alhambra Beyond Cars team, there is a glaring problem with cycling legally in the city.
Tucked into our city codes are several rules that make it hard for cyclists to transit the city and remain on the right side of the law. Specifically, the city requires that ALL bicycles have a license. Copied from the City Municipal Code: “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or use a bicycle upon any street in the city without first obtaining from the city a license therefor.”
Title X (out of XXIV) of the city municipal code specifically deals with bicycles and lays out the costs, penalties and rules for riding a bicycle in the city. Non-residents of Alhambra are required to have a license from a reciprocating city, but with the recent demise of bicycle licensing in Los Angeles this presents a challenge to many of the people riding in and through Alhambra on a daily basis. Luckily the maximum penalty per the code is $5.
The good news is the process to obtain a license isn’t hard; a quick trip to the city hall with $1.00 in hand gets you a license. You’ll need to fill out Form #193 (revised April 1983) that has information about the owner, serial number, make, model, color and style of bicycle. Notes about frame size, wheel size and your mailing address round out the application which also boasts the cool 4-part, carbon copy paper from yesteryear. Once the fee is paid, you will be presented with a California State license that can be affixed to the bicycle frame. I placed mine on the down tube of the bicycle and took several photos of the bicycle, license, and serial numbers and made a folder to keep them handy.
Adam Bray-Ali is a resident of Alhambra and co-owner of Flying Pigeon Los Angeles bicycle shop in Cypress Park.
City Municipal Code: http://www.amlegal.com/alhambra_ca/
City of Los Angeles rules: http://www.bicyclela.org/Law.htm