To combat rising bicycle thefts in town, Ashland has repealed a $2 bike registration fee and added convenient online bicycle registration.
The City Council voted to eliminate the fee on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the Ashland Police Department has created an online bicycle registration form, which will save bike owners a trip to the department's building at 1155 E. Main St.
The bicycle registration form collects information about the owner plus details on the bike, including its serial number, brand, color, seat type, tire type and number of speeds.
Bicycle registration helps officers reunite owners with their property when bikes are recovered, police said.
It can also help police solve bicycle thefts.
"If police make contact with an individual who is riding a bike and check the serial number for whatever reason and find out that it's been reported stolen, that gives police a good lead in the case," said APD administrative Sgt. Warren Hensman.
Police have seen increasing numbers of bike thefts.
In 2010, 67 bikes were reported stolen and five were recovered, according to Ashland police. So far this year, 116 bikes have been reported stolen and nine were recovered, police said.
Hensman declined to speculate on why bike thefts have been increasing.
Rescinding the $2 registration fee will have little fiscal impact because APD has collected only $298 since 2008 from the fees, police said.
To access the online bicycle registration form, visit www.ashland.or.us/FormPage.asp?FormID=145.
Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.