Report: New Parks Dept. Policy to Clip Locks and Seize Bikes

Just in case you thought all of the bike-related news today was good, a Streetsblog tipster in Queens reports that Parks and Recreation Dept. agents were clipping bike locks and seizing bicycles in Forest Hills, Queens yesterday. She was told by a city employee that the bike seizures are part of a new, citywide Parks Dept. policy. I have a call in to the Parks Department public information office to confirm this story and find out what’s going on. Here is her letter to Streetsblog:

Dear Streetsblog Staff,
 
As you may remember, a couple months ago, Mayor Bloomberg authorized the NYPD to seize hundreds of bikes in Manhattan which were parked "illegaly" on city property.
 
Yesterday, I was shocked to find a similar incident occuring in my neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens as rangers from the City Parks and Recreation Department cutting chains to confiscate bicycles on 71st – Continental Avenue and Austin Street.
 
Later, I went to the Parks Department in Flushing Meadows Corona Park where the truck full of confiscated bicycles sat to get the scoop. Here, Captain Kenneth Brown informed me that today began a citywide campaign involving the City Parks and Recreation Department. This time all bikes chained to city trees or to the metal fencing around those trees will be seized in neighborhoods throughout the 5 boroughs. Bikes are then taken by truck to the nearest Parks Department Headquarters where they are held for 2-3 days before being sent to a depot in Long Island. In order to retrieve your bicycle, you must pay a $50 summons – that is if you can find it.

According to the Captain Brown, bicycles are only considered to be parked "legally" to bicycle racks. Unfortunately, the city does not provide proper bike racks here as in many other neighborhoods. The citizens of Forest Hills and surrounding areas rely on bicycle transportation for lack of reliable and adequate public transportation.

We’ll let you know what the Parks Dept. has to say.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

NYC Government Office Cracks Down on Indoor Bike Parking

|
The seemingly schizoid Bloomberg Administration continues to encourage bicycling with one hand while making it incredibly difficult with the other. Two weeks ago, amidst news of new bike lanes, on-street bike parking, and an impending bike lane media blitz, we heard about a gang of Parks Dept. employees clipping locks and seizing dozens of bicycles […]

An NYC First: On-Street Parking Spaces Replaced by Bike Racks

|
The new bike racks have been installed at the Bedford Avenue L subway station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As the Dept. of Transportation announces in today’s press release, "The facility marks the first time car parking spaces have been removed to accommodate bicycle parking in New York City." DOT extended a 76-foot section of the sidewalk […]

Parks Dept. Implements Hudson River Greenway Detour, Then Explains It

|
Hudson River Greenway traffic will be disrupted for the next two weeks to allow for construction work around 59th Street, the Parks Department said today. Yesterday greenway users were surprised to find the path fenced off from 59th Street to around 63rd Street, with all bike and foot traffic detoured onto a path approximately eight feet wide. A […]