Code of The City of Alexandria, Virginia

Title 10 Motor Vehicles and Traffic

Chapter 7 Bicycles

Sec. 10-7-1 Registration and license tags; fees.

The owner of every bicycle kept or regularly operated within the city shall register the same with the police chief and shall obtain from him a license tag for such vehicle, which tag shall be attached and sealed on the rear of the bicycle. The registration and tag shall cost $0.25 and shall be effective throughout the life of the bicycle; except, that in the event of any transfer, the new owner shall obtain a transfer of license tag from the police chief at a cost of $0.10. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-1)

Sec. 10-7-2 Owner’s report of change of ownership, etc.

Within 10 days after change of ownership or dismantling and removal from operation of any bicycle, the previous owner shall report the information to the police chief. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-2)

Sec. 10-7-3 Reports required of bicycle dealers.

Every person engaged in the business of buying or selling new or secondhand bicycles shall report to the police chief every bicycle purchased or sold by such person, as well as the name and address of the person from whom it is purchased or to whom it is sold, a description of the bicycle by name or make, the frame number thereof, and the number of the license tag, if any, found thereon. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-3)

Sec. 10-7-4 Designation of sidewalks as bicycle routes.

With the exception of bicycles operated by police officers in the course of their law enforcement duties, no bicycle shall be operated on any sidewalk in city, except such sidewalks or portions thereof which city council shall by resolution designate as bicycle routes. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-4; Ord. No. 3588, 6/13/92, Sec. 1)

Sec. 10-7-5 Definitions.

The following words, when used in this chapter shall, for the purposes of this chapter, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section, except in those instances where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

  1. Bicycle. Every device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is over 20 inches in diameter, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels.

  2. Roadway: That portion of a street or highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” shall refer to any roadway separately but not to all roadways collectively.

  3. Sidewalk. That portion of a street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines intended for the use of pedestrians. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-4.1)

Sec. 10-7-6 Manner of operating.

  1. Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

  2. Whenever any person shall ride a bicycle on a sidewalk designated by the city council as a bicycle route, the person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian or bicycle.

  3. Wherever a bicycle route designated as such pursuant to section 10-7-4 of this chapter is provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such bicycle route and shall not use the roadway. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-4.2)

Sec. 10-7-7 Brakes, lights, etc., as prerequisite to registration, etc.

The police chief shall have the authority to refuse to register, license or transfer a tag on any bicycle which is not equipped with effective brakes and with lights and reflectors as required in this title. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-5)

Sec. 10-7-8 Passengers.

No bicycle operated in the city shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number of persons for which it is designed and equipped. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-6)

Sec. 10-7-9 Riding abreast.

Persons riding bicycles upon roadways or sidewalks designated by the city council as bicycle routes shall not ride two or more abreast. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-7)

Sec. 10-7-10 Parking.

No person shall park a bicycle in the city other than against a curb or in a sidewalk rack or against a building in such manner as to cause the least possible obstruction to traffic. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-8)

Sec. 10-7-11 Warning devices.

Every bicycle operated in the city shall be equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least 100 feet; except, that no bicycle shall be equipped with any siren or whistle. (Code 1963, Sec. 6-9)

Sec. 10-7-12 Bicycle helmets.

  • Requirement. Every person 14 years of age or younger shall wear a protective helmet when riding or being carried on a bicycle on any roadway, sidewalk or public bicycle path within the city. For the purpose of this section, “protective helmet” shall refer to any helmet that meets the standards promulgated by the American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation.

  • Civil penalty. The parents of any person who violates this section shall be, jointly and severally, liable for a civil penalty. For each such violation, the parents of the violator shall be liable for a penalty of $25; provided, that such penalty shall be suspended (i) for any person’s first violation and (ii) for any person’s second or subsequent violation, if the person provides proof of ownership of, or of having purchased or acquired, subsequent to the violation but prior to the deadline for payment of the civil penalty, a helmet of the type required by this section.

  • Procedures. If a violation of this section has occurred, the violator shall be given written notice of the violation. The notice shall state:

    1. that the parents of the violator shall be liable for the civil penalty set forth in subsection (b);

    2. the circumstances under which the civil penalty may be suspended, as provided in subsection (b); and

    3. the deadline by which the parents of the violator must appear, either in person or by mail, before the treasurer of the city and admit liability for or plead no contest to the violation, and pay the civil penalty established for the violation, or alternatively provide satisfactory proof of ownership, purchase or acquisition, within the time specified in subsection (b), of a helmet of the type required by subsection (a).

An admission of liability or a statement of no contest to a violation of this section shall not be deemed a criminal violation for any purpose. If the parents of a violator do not elect to admit liability or plead no contest, the violation shall be tried in the Alexandria General District Court upon the filing of a warrant in debt. (Ord. No. 3730, 6/18/94, Sec. 1)

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