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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is considering requiring bicyclists to be licensed and registered like automobile drivers currently are.

According to a report in the New York Daily News on Wednesday, the mayor also wants to expand the city’s safety regulations, which already have won it a nanny-state reputation, to include requiring Citi Bike renters to wear helmets.

Mr. de Blasio called the idea of forcing cyclists to have licenses and registration a “valid discussion,” the Daily News reported, and added that he also plans a crackdown on cyclists who break traffic laws.
Advocates of bicycling argued that regulating and licensing something discourages it — the opposite of what the city ought to be doing.

“Requiring helmets and bicycle licensing is counterproductive to Vision Zero because they’re a deterrent to cycling,” Joe Cutrufo, spokesman for advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, told the Daily News. “When you discourage people from riding a bike, fewer people will do it, and the safest cities in the world for riding a bike are the cities where there are the most cyclists.

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