Charleston City Council will consider several changes to the existing bike ordinance Tuesday, including a change in the language to better-facilitate an increase in the $1 bike registration fee, as well as a new requirement that the bike-owner register their ride every three years.
The new language regarding the amount of the fee would change "the sum of $1" to an amount "set by City Council." The new ordinance would also change the life of the registration from "the life of the bicycle in the city so long as it remains in the same ownership" to "a period of three years."
Last year, the city estimated it had more than 1,000 bike registrations.
"It's not a revenue generator," Sgt. Dale Wilson said in December. "The big thing for us is crime prevention and the ability to return the bike."
Considering the frequency of bike thefts downtown, registration can sometimes be the only way for an owner to be reunited with their bike, repaying only the cost the city incurred. Even that may change. The new ordinance also enumerates a $45 fee for a bike owner to receive their confiscated bike back.