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Has anyone had success getting the city to remove an abandoned bike?

...because I sure haven't.

There has been a very neglected, obviously abandoned, bike locked to a bicycle rack outside of my workplace for what seems like an eternity (it's been there at least since November '10). I have been calling the city relentlessly since February requesting that it be removed. The last 2 times I've called I was told the request would be marked "urgent" and that they would "get to it as soon as possible." Still nothing. I know the city likes to takes its sweet ol' time with things like this, but c'mon...5 months and counting?

With the summer bicyclists now emerging, parking spots are becoming more and more scarce. I want all the available bike racks I can get! Yes, I also requested (last year) another bike rack to be installed. You can probably guess the outcome of that as well.

What else can I do to free up this spot? I'm not interested in the DIY angle grinder method. Does anyone have any kind of hookup with the city to make this happen?

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It would be cool if the city bike program (who handles these requests) could respond here directly to explain why the system has (apparently) failed in this case.
Its bad to steal parts, its ok to save good parts from a rusting abandoned bike. I say first find out which is it. You could check if bike was registered to get owner info and ask if they want the bike or if they're leaving it to die, I mean 311 bike removal usually scraps vulture-picked-apart-bikes anyways (Well at least according to the person I talked from the 311 #) PS I think the bike removal people first try to contact the owner of bike in question to have them remove it first though.

The bike program tags the bike, with a stated deadline for removal.  Removed bikes are donated to various community bike programs (the usual suspects.)

It would be cool if someone from the city bike program would respond here directly to explain why the system has (apparently) failed in this case.

There were two locked up outside our building. The city did finally remove one of them a few months ago, they still have not removed the other one. There is no room out there, and our bike room is full. A few times I've come out to see my bike turned and the front wheel out in the street on Wacker.

It's too bad that the city doesn't accept abandoned bike reports via their web site.  This is something that needs to be rectified if the city is really serious about bicycling.  It's just too easy to blow off a 311 call -no paper trail if they don't want to bother with it.

 

I'd suggest if there is a lack of parking in the area to instead use the city bike page to request a new bike rack.   If the city is too disorganized to clean the hulks out of the existing racks then keep hounding them from all sides until they either clear them out or make them put in more racks!

 

As for taking things that aren't yours -well it's just wrong.  The bike might not be abandoned -the owner might be incapacitated or otherwise unable to get the bike back.  I can think of a few reasons why someone wouldn't be able to get back to their bike.  I know of someone who fell ill and was rushed to the hospital only to find massive bone cancer.  They spent a while recovering -getting their bike was the last thing she was worried about.  It would have sucked if some jerk had stripped her bike because they figured that it had "sat there long enough to be stripped."    If it isn't yours leave it alone.  It's the job of the city to decide what personal property to take and what not to take.  They are used to stepping all over people's rights and property -that's what they do.

I wish that the city would take abandoned bike reports through their web site.  It would make the process much easier.
I could have sworn that they used to do this before -now it just says to call 311...

Anne Alt said:
I wish that the city would take abandoned bike reports through their web site.  It would make the process much easier.
I called two years ago for a bike on my front fence at the time.  They didn't tag it and removed it within like two days
Forget 311.  I have called and emailed the city's bike parking program manager asking for help with this situation.  That was about 2 weeks ago and still ZERO response.  This is so ridiculous and disappointing that the city cannot seem to handle (or even respond to) such a simple request!!

Sorry this has been such an ordeal, Laura.

When you say "zero response", do you mean the bike hasn't been removed, or that there was no answer/return call, and no response to the e-mail?

When I called, there was no answer so I left a very nice and detailed message.  No call back.  On the voicemail he said "for a faster response, email me."  So I did.  No email response either.  I left my phone number, email address and every other piece of information they could ever need. 

 

The fact that this whole thing has been ongoing since February is downright comical.  I just can't wrap my mind around what could possibly be going on at the office that supposedly handles this....spontaneous combustion? the plague? space alien abduction?  It had better be something good...

h333 said:

Sorry this has been such an ordeal, Laura.

When you say "zero response", do you mean the bike hasn't been removed, or that there was no answer/return call, and no response to the e-mail?

I don't think there is much interest in it as long as it isn't blocking the way. There has been a bike at a certain metra station that is obviously abandoned. When they started construction on the area a few weeks ago the bike was tied higher on the railing (as to be out of the way of the construction area) with bailing wire.

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