Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I feel a bit guilty...

But if you own the slowly disintegrating seatless mountain-bikey BSO that was abandoned before the 4th of July at one of the three bike racks in front of Whole Foods on Prospect- you have 72 hours  to take it before the city does.   Thanks Cambridge DPW for such quick response on it.

I feel a bit guilty for dropping a dime on it, but it's been there for a really long time, and there's not a lot of parking there- all the spots are usually full and you have to double lock, even at 7:45AM when I come by for a bagel.  I'm going to go by the store though and tell them to tell their employees, just in case it's someone's who works there and has just been too lazy to get the seat replaced/ take it home to assuage my conscience.

Did I make a bad call?


  1. I think adding a note would make you feel better. I had loaned my mountain bike to someone who left it too long. He walked by it daily but didn't move it. In my case it ended up stolen, but had there been a note on it he would have done something about it.

    Otherwise, no. Bikes are to be ridden! There is a lovely Raleigh 3 speed with a Brooks saddle very securely chained to a tree in the South End. It hasn't moved in three years. There have been several notes left, they decay along with the bike. It's tragic, it was a VERY nice Raleigh to begin with.

  2. What's the number for Cambridge Public Works?
    There are a pair of bikes blocking the bike racks in front of the Mt.Auburn Star that have been there for (and I am not exaggerating) over a year! I am so sick of them that I actually blogged about them here.

    Thanks... and I think you are ok for doing that. A month is plenty of time.

  3. mmm ... so, my standard 'maybe the owner is on vacation' statute of limitations is one month. When I lived in an apartment that little space for a bike, I would leave my bike parked outside all of the time. During vacations, if I planned ahead and had a clean place to put it, I'd bring the bike inside ... but more often than not, I'd leave it parked somewhere public (naively believing that leaving it out in plain view was more secure than locking it up somewhere out of the way where a thief could break my lock with a modicum of privacy) I once left a Trek 720 locked up outside the Blockbuster Video in Central for three weeks while visiting family on the West Coast (and yes, I also took my seat with me because I felt that was easy to steal)

    so ... yes, sorry, but count my vote as it being too soon. But that's really just me flashbacking to cash strapped grad student memories.

  4. Astroluc-
    Go to the Cambridge DPW website, and there's an online form with options for "request for service" "complaints" "Complements" etc. Type in your request, and if you click the "notify me" they will.

    Cris- the bike had a seat for about a week, so I assume it was stolen.
    I hear you about too soon, I struggled with it, but that location is so busy, and parking is such a precious resource, that it's not fair to everyone else to hog it. If you left your car parked on the street in Cambridge for a month it would get towed for street cleaning (Ask the Scientist how I know this). I'm not sure that bikes should get more time than cars.

    DPW will put a note on it (presumably today) warning the person to remove it, and they have three days after the note goes on.

  5. Good call! I don't mind folks leaving bikes because they have to, but if they are truly abandoned and taking up prime real estate, they need to go.

    We had a few bikes left in our bike room at the office last year. It was obvious they'd not been moved in months and the room was full on a daily basis. Being the head bike commuter (heh heh) I made the executive decision to give them a week to clear them out or see them donated to a bike coop. It worked. We now have an additional bike cage and a 48 hour rule - or if you just leave a note, it's all good. Just common courtesy, you know.

  6. oh, I'm not arguing against the morals of it. I agree that even if the owner was just on vacation, it's a pretty selfish move for them to leave it parked somewhere where space is at a premium. I'm just pointing it out as an exercise of assessing whether it's an abandoned bike or not, and saying that I usually give it a month before flagging a bike as an orphan.

    This reminds me, though, there's a mountain bike tire that's been u-locked to a work parking rack for the last year. I should bug the security guys (yes, Dog and Face) about hacking off that lock as it's taking up some precious space.

  7. Hey, you found my bike!

    Just kidding. :)

  8. For me it's a matter of respect. How much do you care. If it was your sig/other how long would you leave them hanging. How important are the things/people in your life to you?

  9. I see a lot of bikes around Cambridge that don't seem to move much or at all. We had one on the rack at work for a few weeks, unlocked. The chain fell off and rusted before it was finally removed. I don't think you need to feel guilty at all. Odds are that bike wasn't cared for very much. Abandoned bikes are just sad. I understand that some people don't have good indoor/off-street parking for their bikes, but just leaving a bike to be slowly stripped by vultures isn't very helpful.