Northeast - Chaining your bike to a sign pole or meter pole is illegal!
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07-04-07, 03:59 PM
Last week I witnessed the cops using a heavy duty saw to revove the lock from a bike that was locked to a parking meter (Bedford Ave, Willaimsburg). They then threw the bike in their police van which already contained several repossesed bikes.
I asked what was going on, they said its illegal to chain yyour bike to anything other than a bike horse (those upside down U shaped things). They said they are removing bikes that are chained to meters and sign posts. They said that if they take your bike you can come down to the station and get it but you have to pay a fine. Plus they dont leave any note or anything so many probably assume their bike has been stolen!
I only saw them do this once; maybe they just did it to make an example (they did it in the busiest part of Williamsburg where everyone could see) there are thousands of bikes chained to illegal poles just in my neighborhood, I continue to chain my bike to the signpost, with the constant fear that it will be repo-ed.
07-05-07, 05:36 AM
The NYPD, and the government in general, is no longer capable of communication. Basically they decide to do something, and do it. I hate to see what happens if they are ever in trouble and actually need peoples cooperation. Actually I hope that I never need their cooperation.
IMO if you own a property and someone places a bicycle on the sidewalk in front you put a sign on that it will be removed in 24hr. I do not see this as a police function.
Is it actually illegal to lock your bike to a sign post or meter?
I was under the impression that it was totally legal according to NYS Vehicle Laws, unless the city has some local ordinance I'm unaware of.
Not that I'm 100% sure of this, and couldn't remember the specific law, but here's some reference on the matter, including the NYS law.
I'll just have to do more research, 'cause I know the cops go on these sprees every so often and they justify it in some pretty lame ways sometimes.
I'm pretty sure that yes, it's illegal but they don't provide enough secure 'bike horses' to allow people do actually get around by bike. Go figure.
That's what cops say when they cut chains and confiscate bikes in Williamsnurg or the East Village. Maybe it's a new "NYPD Rule" because according to Transportational Alternatives there's no such law
The Need for Sensible Outdoor Bike Parking Policies in NYC
With only one bicycle rack for every thirty-three bicycle riders, New York’s bike riders must
use other objects to secure their bicycles, such as street signposts, lampposts, parking meters,
subway entrances, fences, and, unfortunately, trees. There is no City or State law that prohibits or
affirms people’s right to lock their bicycles to public street fixtures. According to State Vehicle
and Traffic Law, one may not alter, deface, injure, knock down, cover, remove, or otherwise
interfere with the operation of public traffic signals and signs and other highway appurtenances. It
is against New York City law to lock a bicycle to a tree because the bicycle and lock could harm
and potentially kill the tree. Locking to non-bike rack fixtures is not ideal, but due to the lack of
City-installed racks, it is often the only viable option.
07-08-07, 01:26 PM
Anyone in NYC interested in getting a Court injunction against the NYPD taking bikes like this. Without a rational due process, that is. The 24 hour notice from the property owner sounds good.
07-09-07, 07:41 PM
Fact of the matter is that cops here in NYC can do just about whatever they want in the name of security. I think the only way to fight this is 1) Wait until your bike gets taken and then fight the ticket in court. Of course, they might keep your bike until the court date. 2) If anyone has a license to practice law in NY AND has free time, they could fight this.
I wouldn't even know where to begin. If this were a free speech issue, I would contact the NYCLU, but this doesn't seem to fall under their umbrella. The Mayor advocated riding bikes in his PlaNYC speech, but Mayor Bloomberg (or any mayor) only has limited control over the daily operations of the NYPD--especially in the post-9/11, we can do whatever we "need" to do world.
It really sucks.
07-10-07, 06:05 AM
I know...I live in NYC and many things (like this) can be a hassle. Buy a folder and then you can take it with you.
The Mayor advocated riding bikes in his PlaNYC speech
Then write to his office and complain, not to mention to your counciller or alderman or whatever they are called. Believe it or not this can really have an impact. Elected officials figure for every letter they get, there are dozens of voters who agree with the writer but are too lazy to write. And so few people actually vote in municipal elections that a few dozen can have an effect. So write letters, on paper, because that is taken more seriously than email, and get every other New Yorker on BF to write as well.
Or keep *****ing here and hope Bloomberg logs in :)
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