The City of Hamtramck had some outdated bicycle ordinances that were restrictive for both youth and adults.
- Youth under 12 years old were only allowed to ride their bikes on sidewalks. That meant they wouldn’t be able to legally ride on the new Joe Louis Greenway that is planned for the Hamtramck alleys west of Jos Campau.
- Youth between 12 and 17 could ride in the streets and alleys but had to carry an operator’s license from the Chief of Police or a note from their parent or guardian.
- Every bicycle ridden in Hamtramck had to be registered either by the city or an adjacent city. The registration would have been required for anyone riding on the Joe Louis Greenway in Hamtramck.
Fortunately these weren’t being enforced, but it made sense to get them off the books. They were burdensome and provided no benefits.
- Under state law, parents and legal guardians are already responsible for their children’s bicycle riding.
- Bicycle registration can help law enforcement return stolen property to their owner. With the advent of the Internet, there are now a couple free nationwide registrations (or through WSU.) In addition, mandatory bicycle registration can be a pretext for stopping any bicyclist.
The City of Detroit had very similar bicycle ordinances, but we helped remove them years ago.
Now they’re removed in Hamtramck thanks to the leadership of newly-elected City Councilperson Amanda Jaczkowski. Ms. Jaczkowski is also an active bicyclist and supporter of the Joe Louis Greenway.