Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dead Bike Removal

Engaging in a bit of Bicycle Coalition blog cross-pollination here (cross-blogination?  eh?  no?  ok, no).  Our education department quietly does a ton of great work in Philadelphia, perhaps most notably providing bicycling and pedestrian safety lesson programming to Philadelphia public elementary schools.  Another project we undertake from time to time is dead bike removal.

Folks call, e-mail, or tweet us with the location of dead and abandoned bicycles taking up valuable bike parking.  For the past couple years, we have worked with the Philadelphia Streets Sanitation Department to remove these derelict bikes from Center City.
Derelict bike, taking up valuable bike parking space.
A dead bike is what you imagine it to be: a bicycle or part of a bicycle locked in a public spot and abandoned.  We tag these wrecks with bi-lingual neon orange tags and leave them on for at least a week.  The tags allow the owner to call us to claim the bike.  This past Wednesday, Bicycle Coalition jack-of-all-trades Ben Cromie worked with two Streets Department fellas (Malik Wilson and Kevin Henderson) freeing the derelict bikes and wheels from their abandoned locks.  They liberated 13 bikes and 5 wheels.

The bicycles are donated to Neighborhood Bike Works, who scrap them for useful parts or deploy them in their fabulous Earn-A-Bike program.  Currently we only have the resources to do this several times a year, and only in Center City.  It is one small way, however, that we help keep the bicycle ecosystem in Philadelphia from getting too gunked up.

For a more poetic report on our previous dead bike removal outing, or to learn more about our educational programming, visit our Bike PHL education blog.  For more photos from the dead bike cleanup, check out our Flickr set.