The Chainlink

Ok- recently we had a bike theft from inside of the building where I live. All of the tenants with bikes have been leaving them, in various states of locked or un-lockedness, in a downstairs hallway, which up until recently was secure enough. Then the lock on the door to the outside broke or was deliberately broken, no one knows. The bikes in the hallway were not visible from the outside. Workmen from across the alley said they saw a young, skinny man with tattoos walk into our building and come out with the bike. 

Anyway, long story short, several tenants, myself included, (they tried to say that the bike theft happened because someone had given out the code to the front door, when the back door lock had been broken for several days before the bike theft) asked if the building could fix the door, first of all, which took them about a week. And then they said the bikes in the hall were also a fire hazard (true- but mine had been there for a year, and all the others had. too, but they looked the other way) and had to be moved. They said they would put in an outdoor bike rack. We requested an indoor bike storage area, and since there is an empty apartment in the ground floor, which they never rent as it floods slightly, we asked if it could be there. They said ok. They also said nothing about a monthly fee. 

Today we got an email saying, we put in the bike room, keys will be given to bike owners upon request, for $3. Then it will be $10 a month after that. And a $50 fine if you leave your bike in the hall. 

Most of the apartments in this building are studios and 1 bedrooms, so there is almost no extra space anywhere. We do have porches so I am am considering keeping my bike out there, however, am wondering how best to keep it dry in rain/snow? 

Also- do other people live in buildings where bike storage costs extra? 

The rents in here are not cheap, and most of us feel we are at our limit of what we are willing to pay, so it looks like they got the new lock and bike rack for nothing, because we will all be squeezing our bikes into our apartments.

 

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Ugh. Thanks, h'. 

Well, plan B is I am going to put up a hook (the drop bar hook- I think it was Active Trans.?- posted to facebook.) and keep it in my place. 

h' said:

When I read this I thought "hmm, wonder if I should warn her that people get bikes stolen from protected/innaccessible balconies all the time" but thought better of it-- but  two fresh examples reported today:

http://chicago.stolenbike.org/



Pippy Duchamp said:

Luckily many of the balconies, mine included, are just balconies and don't have stairs. Also, the ones in the interior are inside of an area which is not accessible from the street- the building is horseshoe shaped, then the neighbor's yard has a tall, locked fence and garage which block off the rest of the yard. Also, I am on the second floor, and no one can see into the yard from the street. Anyway. 

My rent just went up, and I am not in the mood to give these people even more money, so I'll probably keep my bike upstairs for now, and the rest of my neighbors have said they will do the same. Maybe I will change my mind later. 

This is what I have tried to tell the other bikey friends in the building!! They are all scared of the office manager, the woman who has handled this whole mess, and is incredibly passive-aggressive and evil. It seems most people are making other arrangements, though. Everyone I have spoken to is either moving their bike inside their apartment or storing it somewhere else. I keep saying if no one pays the fee they might be more open to negotiation. There is no one else to talk to, as the owners are out of town and most of us have never seen or spoken to them, so they probably like it that way. But it should be as simple as this!! 

Gerry G said:

Suggest opening negotiations with property management.  They will be leasing space for bike parking previously uninhabitable because of flooding.  Maximizing their square footage with a new cash stream.  Start low, $25.00 annually.  Organize potential bike parkers users to join you.  If your uncomfortable as lead, ask for assistance from the group.  It sounds like it's a new situation and property management maybe open and pliable to adjusting the fee.  Worth a shot.  At the very lease you learn which people in the building drive bikes... my 2¢.

Update- today we got an email saying that all bikes have to be out of the hallway by the 30th or "we will start taking them." This kind of stuff is what makes me not want to deal with them at all. 

The office manager might think something similar of the tenants, imagining they are hard to approach and that tenants are not understanding. 

One of the 7 habits of highly effective people is (apparently), seek first to understand, then be understood. (I realize The Chainlink is not where people come for mental self-help advice.)

Pippy Duchamp said:

They are all scared of the office manager, the woman who has handled this whole mess, and is incredibly passive-aggressive and evil. 

Really?

Steven Vance said:

The office manager might think something similar of the tenants, imagining they are hard to approach and that tenants are not understanding. 

One of the 7 habits of highly effective people is (apparently), seek first to understand, then be understood. (I realize The Chainlink is not where people come for mental self-help advice.)

Pippy Duchamp said:

They are all scared of the office manager, the woman who has handled this whole mess, and is incredibly passive-aggressive and evil. 

+1

 

h' said:

Really?


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