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Hi, all! I got the OK to post this here from the powers at be. I'm hoping you wonderful people can help me out.

I'm a reporter with DNAinfo Chicago, and we plan to publish within the next couple of weeks a story about the city's abandoned bicycles. We were able to get a ton of great data from the city about where they have been reported.

But I'd love to speak with people who might have reported an abandoned bicycle -- or even abandoned one him/herself!

So, here's my question: Have any of you reading this post reported an abandoned bicycle in Chicago, or have you abandoned a bike yourself?

Maybe you haven't reported or abandoned a bicycle, but were always curious about that one bike near your home that hasn't moved in months or years. If so, I want to hear from you.

Give me a call, shoot me a text or send me an email.

-Ben Woodard, DNAinfo Chicago

425-328-9840, bwoodard@dnainfo.com

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What does the city do when a bike is reported abandoned? 

CDOT tells me that they'll send a team out to tag the bike with a removal notice, then about a week later come back and if it's still there cut it away. All removed bicycles are donated to Working Bikes.

Yasmeen said:

What does the city do when a bike is reported abandoned? 

I didn't know that. I'm really looking forward to reading this article. Sounds very interesting.

Didn't the city also dispose of the abandoned bike at an auction?

There's a really annoying one @ Milwuakee & Damen(outside the front of Walgreens), probably some art student's great idea. It's painted orange to match the WPB lockup stand, but all it's really doing is taking up someones place to lock their bike safely. Every morning when I'm on Milwuakee, I see a few different bikes that have their wheels/seats/other parts removed. I've never called in an abandoned bike and wouldn't know how to do so.

http://abandonedbikes.chicagocompletestreets.org/page/about

Jaik S. said:

There's a really annoying one @ Milwuakee & Damen(outside the front of Walgreens), probably some art student's great idea. It's painted orange to match the WPB lockup stand, but all it's really doing is taking up someones place to lock their bike safely. Every morning when I'm on Milwuakee, I see a few different bikes that have their wheels/seats/other parts removed. I've never called in an abandoned bike and wouldn't know how to do so.

Probably not an art student - most likely Orange Theory guerrilla marketing. Not everyone is a fan:

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/04/04/orange-fitness...

Jaik S. said:

There's a really annoying one @ Milwuakee & Damen(outside the front of Walgreens), probably some art student's great idea. It's painted orange to match the WPB lockup stand, but all it's really doing is taking up someones place to lock their bike safely. Every morning when I'm on Milwuakee, I see a few different bikes that have their wheels/seats/other parts removed. I've never called in an abandoned bike and wouldn't know how to do so.

It seems that so often journalists try to make some bike related problem seem like a major problem facing the city, ideally resulting in long heated comment wars, bizarre new aldermanic proposals, sharpening of the wedge the media continually tries to drive between cyclists and everyone else.....  it's so refreshing to see Ben here working on an article aimed at informing the cycling community on proper city procedures for getting an abandoned bike removed. Thanks, Ben!

Yasmeen said:

I didn't know that. I'm really looking forward to reading this article. Sounds very interesting.

Thanks, Reported.

Bob Kastigar said:

Definitely not a fan. 

Andy J (9.2 miles) said:

Probably not an art student - most likely Orange Theory guerrilla marketing. Not everyone is a fan:

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/04/04/orange-fitness...

I don't know why abandoned bikes happen. I more than occasionally notice a bike that never moves,(abandoned) or a 'bike skeleton'(a picked over bike by thieves) in my neighborhood and l wonder why ? Did the cyclist forget where they locked the bike, did they misplace the key, are they ill in the hospital, did they have to move out of town quickly to another job and couldn't take the bike, do they no longer have interest in cycling, are they on a long vacation, is this a 'bait bike' put here by police to observe from their surveillance cameras, is this just a stolen bike being stored here by an bike thief until he sells it or not ? Etc . . .

As for the city clearing it, most times the process takes a long time, and then the 'vultures' start picking it over and it becomes an unsightly mess of lonely bike parts, and where cyclists hesitate to lock up there because it is obviously a spot for thieves to mess with their bike.

Until just a few years ago, the city used to have an auction of unclaimed stolen property at the West Side Technical Institute at 2800 S. Western.  I went there a couple of times and it was a hoot.  Lots of bikes, including quite a few good ones.  I wasn't there for a bike, but if I had been looking for one, I most likely could have found one at a good price.  Not to mention a snowthrower, lawnmower, or most any small electronic device or tool.  The auctioneer was a pro and it was a lot of fun.  The most popular items?  The jewelry.  Now the Chicago Police Department allegedly sells these items through a rather sad website called propertyroom.com.  You can't search for items specific to Chicago (as far as I can tell), and lots of the bikes are just clumped together in undifferentiated lots.  No doubt the city is losing a lot of revenue.  I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of those bikes never make it to auction, either.   

Bob Kastigar said:

Didn't the city also dispose of the abandoned bike at an auction?

Calling 311, then reporting bicycle that has been locked up for more than 3 months. 3 months later the bicycle finally gets removed...

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