With the NYPD press office continuing to stonewall us on the matter of the bikes confiscated along Obama's motorcade route yesterday, we made some calls to the local precincts. A cop at the 9th Precinct told us that all the seized bikes were taken to the 7th Precinct. When we called over there, an unidentified officer told us to call the 9th Precinct, ha ha. But after putting us on hold, we were able to confirm that all the seized bikes were in fact taken to the 7th Precinct.
If your bike was one of those confiscated, you can go retrieve it on Monday before 12 p.m. at the 7th Precinct. We were told that bike owners can appear as early as 4 a.m., and that there is "a special way" of determining that each bike is returned to its lawful owner. Cyclists will be asked to describe their bikes, but the cop who spoke with us said you should also bring a photo of you with the bike.
When asked if any signs were put up in advance to notify bike owners, the officer said, "No, they just did this because the president was coming and they didn't want anything on the sidewalks. You're not supposed to lock you bike to signposts anyway, they have those new bike racks you're supposed to use." Of course, in many parts of NYC, the number of bike racks can't meet demand, and cyclists have no choice but to lock to signposts.
On a related note, next month is Bike Month in NYC, and Transportation Alternatives will be kicking things off with a party at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday, May 1st from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. During the festivities, the NYPD will be on hand to etch ID codes on your bike, making it easier to reclaim it next time they steal it from you.
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