Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Minnesota State Rep Wants to Require a Special Permit to Ride in Bike Lanes

A rural Minnesota lawmaker wants to crack down on serious problems like this. Photo: Minneapolis Bike Coalition on Flickr

American statehouses are breeding grounds for terrible bike laws. This month, thanks to Minnesota state representative Duane Quam, we have a new entry in the proud tradition of legislators stigmatizing people who bike.

duane_quam
Duane Quam

Quam's bill would require people to carry a special permit to ride in bike lanes in urban areas. To obtain the permit, they would have to take a special training course and pay an annual $5 fee. The rule would only apply to urban areas -- basically Minneapolis and St. Paul. For some reason, Quam also wants to forbid children under 15 from using bike lanes.

The bill is a bad idea for all the reasons bike licensing bills are always a bad idea. It would lead to selective enforcement and racial discrimination. Administration would be a logistical nightmare and cost more than the fees raise. Fewer people would bike, reducing safety in numbers.

What's especially strange about this one, as Minneapolis Public Radio pointed out, is that it would cause more people to avoid bike lanes and ride in traffic, exposing them more dangers and aggravating drivers in the process.

Fortunately, Quam's bill appears to be only for show and is unlikely to find much support in the statehouse, Ethan Fawley of the Minnesota Bicycle Coalition told the Star Tribune.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Port Lobbyists Trying to Kill Bike and Pedestrian Safety in Oakland

Trucking/port lobbyists want to destroy a long-established plan to build protected bike lanes connecting Jack London Square, West Oakland, and downtown

July 12, 2024

Friday Video: Take a Spin on Boston’s Electric Cargo Bike Share

Can't afford a $7,000 Urban Arrow cargo e-bike ? In Boston, you can now rent one for just a few bucks.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

5 recommendations for high-speed rail; Caltrans, stop building new freeway lanes already; "Data bikes" can collect information about bike path conditions; More

July 12, 2024

Next Week: Active Transportation Program Workshop

The good news is that there will be a Cycle 7. But it will be small, and there will be hard choices about what gets funded.

July 11, 2024

Metro and Caltrans Still Planning 605 Expansion, Plus Four Connecting Freeways

Metro and Caltrans are planning to spend billions of dollars widening the 605, 5, 10, 60 and 105 Freeways. Really.

July 11, 2024
See all posts