Are Local Bike Racks Simply Becoming A Dumping Ground?

bike racks

When we think about an increased number of local bike racks, we appreciate the idea of more parking for neighbors who choose alternatives to driving or mass transit. Neighbor Patrick, though, has us considering another side of them.

“These new bike stations placed all around the city have now become the place to attach every broken down piece of bicycle effluvia in the known universe,” he writes. “Who is responsible for removing the broken pieces? Is anyone responsible to see that they are being used appropriately?”

Since we don’t have any CitiBike stations in our area, we’re more concerned with standard local bike racks. But certainly the number of bikes left to fall apart around town isn’t a result of an increased number of official racks, right? There have always been plenty of street signs to accommodate little bike graveyards.

bike racks

Former DPC editor Mary Bakija has taken a look at the “derelict bike” epidemic on our sister site, Park Slope Stoop, noting while several bikes that fit the criteria (clearly unusable, missing a significant number of parts, largely rusted, etc.) were evident around that neighborhood, only one was tagged with a removal notice–and we’ve never seen any notices around here, though we’d be interested to hear if you have.

Unfortunately, as with many unsightly problems around the city, derelict bikes can only be handled with a call or online form submitted through 311. Fliers placed on derelict bikes will give owners a week’s notice to remove them, or the DSNY will do it themselves.

Have you noticed a problem with a large number of derelict bikes locally, either on new racks or other city property? What about your own private property? And why do people bother locking up bikes if they’re never going to retrieve them?