The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday voted in favor of a bike ban prohibiting the assembly or sale of bikes on public property.
The ban would extend to not just bicycles, but bicycle parts, with the thought of preventing its theft and sale.
The motion was presented by Councilman Joe Buscaino, saying the ordinance would not stop people from repairing personal bicycles and “expressly exempts this activity.”
“I believe this ordinance will give LAPD the necessary tool to prevent bike theft, clean up our streets and improve the quality of life for our residents across the city,” Buscaino said during the Tuesday council meeting.
The public “chop shops” that Buscaino aims to target consist of three or more bicycles, a bicycle frame with the gear cables or brake cables cut, two or more bicycles with missing parts, or five or more bicycle parts.
Of the 14 council members who voted on the item, Mike Bonin, Nathya Raman and Curren Price voted against it.
In a tweet Wedneday, Councilwoman Raman called the ordinance “political theater” by the city council and is unlikely to prevent bike theft.
“This law makes it look like Council is addressing the very real problem of bike theft, without actually addressing the problem,” Raman said. “There are real investments that we could make to prevent bike thefts, like bike storage lockers at transit hubs & other infrastructure on city streets. Instead, we have created an ordinance which is extremely unlikely to actually reduce bike theft, and likely to be selectively enforced, against people of color and people experiencing homelessness.”
Similar sentiments were shared by Los Angeles homeless advocates known as the “People’s City Council,” calling the ordinance an “attack” on poor people.
“This is nothing but a draconian measure meant to crack down on poor people,” the activists tweeted Tuesday. “Our public officials deserve to be relentlessly confronted about their attack on the Unhoused. Fuck them.”
The vote required unanimous support to pass and will be voted on again next week, needing only a majority vote to pass.