Abandoned bike blues
Leftovers crowd structure
"I bike every day if it's a nice day," says Marilee Sturtevant, manager of the Red Hawk Bar & Grill on State St. "I need a place to park my bike, and the nice thing about the Maynard St. parking structure and the bike rack across the street is that they're covered so your bike doesn't get wet."
But in the last year and a half, she says, so many bikes have been abandoned in the structure that "there're hardly any spaces left. And across the street from the structure, there's only one spot left." These aren't good, usable bikes left behind by some absent-minded student. "A lot are damaged, the wheels bent or parts missing. And they're like this all over town, some chained on trees, but mostly on the regular bike racks."
Things are going to improve, promises senior assistant city attorney Kristen Larcom. The police used to take care of abandoned bikes, she explains, but with staff cutbacks, "they don't have the people to send out anymore." Another problem: the city no longer requires licenses for bikes, so there's no way to notify the owners. But, Larcom promises, "in the next month or so we'll have a system in place that will work just as well as it used to."
[Originally published in May, 2012.]