I have written extensively about bike theft over the years on Bike Forums and elsewhere on and offline. I have written from experience as I either had my bikes attempted to be stolen or actually stolen never to be seen or heard from again. I have now converted to only owning and using folding bikes because of these experiences. My limited contact with law enforcement about these same incidents reinforced my beliefs that not only bike thief is on the rise, but lax enforcement of it seem to encourage it as bikes are becoming more and more valuable. Or are they everywhere. Apparently not so in Toronto as this article in today's newspaper seems to indicate:
The Fixer: College St. a boulevard of broken bikes
November 07, 2010
by Jack Lakey
".....Abandoned bicycles are plentiful on downtown streets, including these three derelict bikes, locked to the same post at 579 College St.
JACK LAKEY/TORONTO STAR
Bicycle abandonment seems to be an epidemic on downtown streets, where dozens of cyclists are locking up bikes and leaving them to rust.
On Saturday, we reported on our test of 550 bicycle locking posts to see if they could be lifted out of their base, allowing a bike to be stolen, and found only two that failed.
It involved a lot of tugging on posts and looking at bikes locked to them, many of which had clearly been abandoned, particularly on Queen St. W. and College St.
We spotted an astounding 31 derelict bikes locked to posts on College, between Bathurst St. and Ossington Ave., and easily another dozen on Queen, between University and Spadina Aves.
We’ve previously done stories about abandoned bikes and know they are plentiful, but even we were staggered by the volume, and the number of posts needlessly taken up by them.
We started our test on Lake Shore Blvd. W. and Queen E. in the Beach, and saw only a few, but as we worked our way along Queen West, we spotted a lot more than we figured on.
When we got to College we started keeping track and counted eight on the north side and 23 on the south side, including three locked to one post at 579 College.
The signs of abandonment are obvious: Chains that are rusty or falling off, rust on other metal parts, soft or flat tires, missing parts and a coating of street grime.
It’s a mystery why so many people are locking and walking, and does not reflect well on the cycling community, which sees itself as righteous tenants of the high ground on transportation-related issues.
If upwards of 50 car drivers abandoned rusty vehicles in prime downtown parking spaces, a lot of cyclists would be outraged.
STATUS: Dan Egan, who’s in charge of cycling infrastructure, said there’s some reluctance on the part of city staff to cut the lock on an abandoned bike and take it away; people have complained that their bike was mistaken for a derelict. Egan said someone will be sent to locate the bikes we found on Queen and College and tag them with notices that say they must be removed within a week or the city will get rid of them......"