Here’s a first for us: We spotted a notice from the Department of Sanitation stuck to a dismantled bike chained to a rack on the corner of Union Street and 5th Avenue the other day.
Since 2010, Sanitation has been allowed to remove what it deems “derelict” bicycles – ones that are affixed to public property that either appear to be severely damaged or unusable, is missing a bunch of parts, or is almost completely rusted — after sticking a notice like so onto the bike and giving the owner a week to remove it themselves.
You’ll note that there’s just one notice, but two messed up bike frames on that rack, and we saw several others within a block or two of that site as well, none with notices on them.
Last year, WNYC’s Transportation Nation took a look at how Sanitation was dealing with the many, many trashed bikes in the city, and found that in the first 18 months of operation, the city had only removed 40 derelict bikes. They invited people to submit reports of such bikes, and WNYC managed to submit 151 of those to the city before the city told them to start doing it one by one.
And that’s really the only thing you can do, too. If you’ve got a ditched bike locked up to public property on your block, you can report it to 311 (by phone or online) and hope for the best.