Abandoned Bikes

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 2nd, 2017 1 response

Abandoned bikes are an eyesore for the city and two that I had been watching for months really started bugging me. Minneapolis, in my opinion, should have removed them a long time ago. I decided to dig into the problem a little and maybe write a blistering editorial about the city’s indifference to this blight.

That’s when I discovered that the problem wasn’t with the city. Their policy is quite simple. Call 311, their number for all city services, or email 311@minneapolismn.gov and tell them where the abandoned bike is located. They will take care of it.

City policy, which applies only to bikes on public property, is that an unlocked bike or a bike that is parked illegally will be removed immediately. A locked bike will be tagged for 24 hours to give the owner time to claim it, then it will be removed.

I sent an email explaining where each of the two bikes was located and what I had observed. Both bikes were removed in less than a week.

The key here is citizen involvement. The city doesn’t just swoop down and take away bikes, it waits for someone to complain. I like that approach, and with that knowledge, I’ll be more vigilant.

What I won’t do is report an abandoned bike within 24 hours. There are all sorts of legitimate reasons why a rider may leave his or her bike unattended for several days or more. I have no desire to create a hassle for those riders. But when a bike starts showing signs of neglect: a rusty chain, flat tires, missing components, I’ll make the call or send the email.

Filed under: Misc

One Comment to “Abandoned Bikes”


    This is a great service to the community, visitors and citizens alike. Honolulu, Hawaii has more of the same problem but when I asked a meter maid about them reporting the abandoned, disassembled bicycles, I was told, “that ain’t my job”! Very disheartening in this land of so called paradise. Hawaii also has a bike registration requirement (a sticker obtained from the car driver/registration bureau). Hopefully, the bicycles removed are turned over to a bike co-op facility rather than scrapped or junked.