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Bike Rack Capacity and Abandoned Bikes


When the weather is nice outside, the bicycle racks in the CG1 garage and the covered bike parking at FL2 are overflowing with bikes. On some days, bicycle parking is so scarce that people resort to leaning their bikes against the FL2 wall.

It's a good thing that so many people are biking to work every day. However, it appears that some bicycles have been abandoned for months, taking up valuable space. At CG1, one bike that hasn't moved in a long time has a piece of paper stapled to it reading, "Zita's blue bike donation," and another bike is covered in grime and hasn't moved in nearly 18 months. Can UCAR do anything to remove abandoned bicycles?

Answered on July 22, 2009


The questioner brings up two related concerns: the availability of bike parking in popular parking areas, and the procedure for handling bikes that appear to have been abandoned by their owners.

First, let me address bike parking capacity. Like the questioner, we are pleased to see the increase in bike ridership and would like to provide sufficient parking for riders. A recent survey of the bike parking areas at FL and CG showed that some bike racks are underutilized while others become very crowded. We are reviewing several options, such as relocating or purchasing additional bike racks, to increase bike parking capacity in popular areas.

Second, the question of potentially abandoned bikes. Because bikes are valuable personal property, we are cautious in our approach to potential removal of any bike. When an employee observes that a bike has remained in the same parking spot for an extended period of time, the employee may report the bike to Sustainable UCAR. If we believe the bike has been abandoned, we will place a notice on the bike advising the owner to contact us by a stated date. If the owner does not contact us within a month, we will put the bike in storage for a year before donating it to a nonprofit organization.

Thanks for your question, and keep on riding!

Kimberly Kosmenko
Program Manager, Sustainable UCAR