NEW YORK CITY - While "twisted spoke" may make for a good name for a music band, in New York it is part of the broken down - or derelict - bicycles taking up space, seeming to never move anywhere. Now New York City’s Department of Transportation is taking him to abandoned bikes. The agency says it wants to clear space for people who legitimately need to use it.
Here’s how the new DOT policy going into effect this month works:
- When a bicycle has been locked in the same place for at least seven days, anyone can file a complaint.
- Once the complaint is filed, the DOT opens a tag on the bicycle.
- If the tag is still there after seven days, the bicycle will be removed to the local police precinct where it will stay for 30 days.
- If the bicycle still isn’t retrieved by then, it will be transferred to another NYPD facility.
Cyclists we spoke with say seven days is too little time. And advocates fear. Once the bicycle goes into police custody that it will enter a bureaucratic purgatory recording things like serial numbers for the owner to get their possession back.
"Not everyone has their serial number, written down," says Jon Orcutt, Director of Advocacy at Bike New York," it could be like we all go out and start taking selfies with ourselves on our bikes in case it’s tagged and taken."
The city already has a law pertaining to derelict bikes, and many are urging the city to focus on removing derelict bikes that are clearly broken down and clearly abandoned.