Tracking Part of Proposal discussion

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Yin Yang

Mar 23, 2015, 10:23:42 PM3/23/15
Greetings BTRT

Big thanks to all who participated in yesterdays meeting. It was very fruitful, and even though it was on a sunday...Soha and I were happy to see all the take action cyclists who showed with action their commitment to addressing bicycle theft in Oahu . Thanks Yamato for all your suggestions and for bringing along the 1999 bicycle master plan to give us an idea of how much work needs to be done.

Thanks Daniel for your input, and Colin for keeping us to task as it relates to pushing registration in an optional direction. Edward thanks for holding it all together with your amazing skills of connecting people who should be connected for the larger picture. It was also refreshing to see a few new faces...Val and her commitment to turning her frown (after having her bike stolen) upside down by putting in a little time to help make cycling in Honolulu better for everyone. Thanks Anthony as well for your presence and ideas at the meeting.

Yamato, do you have access to or know where we can find out on average how many bicyclists register there bicycles every year? This information will help us reach out to some people who may be able to design a unit at a less expensive price point depending on how many units the city may be willing to invest in..providing this all goes up the ladder.

Edward, can you connect us to those folks you mentioned? I believe one gentlemen you mentioned was involved with feeding the homeless and was also largely involved in keeping the air water and soil of our earth clean. I would love to pick his brain as it relates to some ideas I have regarding education. 

Colin, did you say there was a link to a state who happened to be implementing  effective ways of tracking the amount of miles ridden by cyclists?

Soha and I were brainstorming last night and we had a bright idea.....On second thought, maybe it was only a bright idea to   We wondered if there was a way to (long term) tie in a "Cycle to Eat, Cycle to Live" type program into this GPS deal such that...the registration office could offer packages to cyclists. For instance..  Three packages....Ideas welcome!

Package 1: The Pro Package...registered cyclists willing to pay for "The Pro Package" would with registration receive a hidden gps anti theft unit; a free month of tracking, and some type of card which was linked to that unit...which also happens to track mileage via the gps unit. This card would be a sort of reward card which would accumulate savings at participating retailers and eateries such that a cyclist at the Pro Package level would have various incentives to ride more miles and as a result get a bucket of hot wings at their favorite place at 33% off. Or they might take this card down to Down To Earth and get a free lunch which they would have earned by cycling all week to work. At this level, maybe they'd also get a small sticker which identifies their bike as a bicycle "Am I Bait Bike" or "This Bicycle is Protected by ....."  We could market this as Cycle to Eat, Cycle to live..or something of the sort.This is just an idea.

Package 2: The Weekend Warrior Package....registered cyclists in this level would simply get the gps free month, and a normal registration sticker.

Package 3: The Beach Cruiser Package...registered cyclists in this level would pay a minimal amount for a sticker.."Am I a bait bike" ...etc, and they'd also get the normal registration sticker.

These are options for the public...yet not really all still involve registering your bicycle with the state.  Alternatively, we could add a fourth option.... Package 4: The Broke Student out of Job, Homeless option....folks at this level would apply for a grant  from the state or borrow 15 dollars...if not, they just go without registration but still have their name in the system connected to their bike somehow.

Any feedback is appreciated...whether negative or positive!


Colin Leath

Mar 25, 2015, 5:20:25 AM3/25/15

Re tracking,

Brings up some ideas. One guy at the bike store was showing me route options using his personal heat map on mapmyride I think.

Also consider

Though the last two don't appear to involve gps they should give you an idea how low tech tracking has been done.

I want to thank Soha for managing to organize us somehow and delegate tasks. And for cutting short some of my skepticism about working through gov't to get certain things done.

She and others could bring a different mindset that could make things happen that I wouldn't begin to consider trying.

To continue my song however,
I like your four level proposal. I think however it would be more appropriate as a proposal for  grant funding for a project that a non profit would implement, or that someone already working within the city or the state would implement with grant funding, As opposed to a program we would write and pass a law to implement.

I think we need to figure out what if any law we need passed or repealed and keep that request as simple as possible.

I'm recommending making registration optional and free and an activity of nonprofits or benefit corporations. But then how the police would be involved in bike impounding, recovery, and auctioning I'm not as sure. . . Perhaps it's not that complicated though.

Some people on the street who get bikes without yellow stamps taken by police suggest the system is a racket run for the benefit of the police. I hope that is just the resentment talking. But there is a lot of pent up resentment due to the way the enforcement of the current system has been  carried out. A story I got tonight suggested that some people will even refuse to fill out the mandatory registration paperwork when buying a new bike from Wal-Mart. The homeless who want to keep their bicycles on the other hand put a lot of effort into getting that yellow stamp. Judging from bike racks on UH it seems many college students don't bother.

Returning to your ideas however, I once had a 6 month membership at the city recreation center in Monterey, CA, where by signing up for a community college course that cost $200, I got a dollar back every time I checked into the rec center. So you could earn back all but $20 of the $200 paid. I doubt a law had to be passed to make that possible but someone figured out how to manage the funding and payments.

Conceivably someone could set up a carbon offset company to fund our projects.


I'll attach the proposal I'm attempting to write up in several formats. I'm somewhat hampered or helped by having to use library computers without internet. So I've made up facts and noted that they need to be checked. Or fabricated. . .

The last parts of the proposal, having to do with theft prevention, bike recovery, impounded bike auction, and so on is the least developed and least clear in my mind.

As you know my main goal is ending the tax and police impoundment of homeless people's bikes. But it does seem possible that a non-profit-run 100 percent registration campaign based on could be successful.

[I don't forget Yamato's point that whatever we get enshrined in city procedure could be a longer-term, more stable solution. But we're dealing now with the effects of archaic law, procedures, and technology with the current registration scenario. I really don't think the city should be managing this system, but perhaps that's because I'm an outsider and I haven't met the city staff who are gung ho to help us with this.]

However, what about people who don't even have an email address. . . ? has that figured out? They do have local bike stores be the registration points for bicycles. But none yet in HI as I remember. I guess I have more research to do.

It probably wouldn't hurt to start working with bike stores and the police community liaison now to start trying to figure out how this transition could work for everyone.

The status quo does not seem to be unbearable however and after some painful lessons both the homeless and those who've had expensive bikes stolen may manage to adapt to the situation in Hawaii. But it does discourage cycling and make bicycle ownership and use more a source of anxiety that they would ideally be.


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Val Finlayson

Mar 26, 2015, 7:39:21 PM3/26/15
Hi everyone,

I just stumbled across this article discussing nearly invisible PIN technology that would allow police to identify bikes and bike parts with a scanner.

We had discussed something similar on Sunday - more like an RFID microchip then. This would be lower-profile and harder for a thief to discover. It sounds like the company is giving away the scanning technology to some police department, which we may want to look into. Perhaps I can contact the company within the next week and see if this would be something to add to the proposal. For end users, the barrier again would be cost. $25 per kit is fine for some, but there are others who can’t afford or can’t justify the cost.

It’s certainly not a perfect system, but implementing something like this as part of a multifaceted approach to make theft unappealing is probably the best strategy.


For more options, visit

Val Finlayson
PhD Candidate
Department of Geology and Geophysics
University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Yin Yang

Mar 27, 2015, 10:51:06 PM3/27/15

Aloha Colin

Thanks for those links and putting those proposals together. Did you have a chance to look at the bike dots idea that Val posted. This seems like an inexpensive and simple way to implement some improvements to registration.

From what I gather, you're simply wanting to do away with registration all together. My opinion is that I feel it would be easier to keep it and just improve it.
I believe Daniel and Yamato mentioned that the monies from registration supposedly go towards projects like King Street Cycle Track and other projects designed to make cycling in Oahu a better experience. If this assumption I'm making is correct, them I'm for keeping the registration with the exception of making improvements to it. If no improvements can be made to it then I'm of the opinion that it should be optional for cyclists who choose to register their bikes. I believe if something functional is offered to the public, more people would register their bicycles. Also, we must consider that there are some jobs in DOT and elsewhere which may be affected if the registration is done away with...  I have no problem with providing revenue and jobs for the city as long as it's not simply for someone to take a vacation once.

It would be great to hear some other opinions about this and also to get some clarification as to where the monies actually go for registration.

I'll take a look at your proposals as well and give my opinion.



Yin Yang

Mar 27, 2015, 11:00:19 PM3/27/15
Aloha Val

Thanks for this awesome and I think another great option. Thanks for providing this for us.


On Monday, March 23, 2015 at 4:23:42 PM UTC-10, Yin Yang wrote:

Colin Leath

Apr 4, 2015, 10:27:56 PM4/4/15
to Yin Yang,
I realize I never really responded to this--
I did just look at datadots. . . but I don't seem to be enthusiastic. When it becomes a system that is by default on every bike however. . . And that will probably happen at some point. (They are not the only people working on that type of technology). ( can't find the first article I read but here are some related links:
Oh, I think the guy behind trutag was the first I heard of this.
And here's datadot:

"Since Portland has a big problem with chop shops and people stealing their bikes and taking them down to the river and taking them apart, if police had more power to go in there and scan the serial number and find that number to return the bike, I'd be totally up for it," he said.

Portland Police will talk more about how they'll use the technology when they formally announce the new Bike Theft Task Force on March 31st.

(cool-- they have their own bike theft task force...)

I do think we could have a bike tax to fund various things as I mentioned in my proposal.

I don't think any city employee would be out a job. . . the bikes are handled by the same system that handles cars and mopeds.

I don't think a registration system should cost money to participate in.

Maybe the governor would be supportive?

But, to be honest, I'm leaving in two weeks-- I've said my bit, I feel heard. If anything is going to happen it will be something you all make happen.

I may share my views directly with various people before I go though. . .


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