How safe are some of our street bike racks?
That is a question one Vancouverite is asking after he left his bicycle overnight Tuesday on a street bike rack located at the intersection of Pacific Boulevard and Cambie Street in front of a liquor store.
Reza Sa told Vancity Buzz that his bike was properly locked to the rack, but the thief instead managed to unbolt the street fixture from the sidewalk, stealing both the rack and the bicycle. Normally, thieves steal bicycles by cutting and breaking the lock.
These types of racks are relatively new to Vancouver. Unlike some of the city’s older rack designs, the screws and bolts of these newer, sleek looking racks are exposed and easy to access.
According to the Vancouver Police, while car thefts have been going down there has been an upward trend in bicycle thefts since 2010. In fact, more bicycles than cars are stolen in Vancouver every year.
Police say thieves carry a significantly greater risk with stealing cars than bicycles. In some cases, a bicycle can be worth the same as a car.
In lieu of stealing cars, thieves are stealing bicycles given that it is more difficult to trace and very easy to sell.
There is no warning over using these types of racks to secure your bikes, but police have previously advised the public that they should use a sturdy, high-quality U-lock as cable locks can easily be cut through with bolt cutters.
Both the front wheel and bike frame should be locked to a secure bike rack – avoid metal sign posts, parking metres and trees as these are not secure to the ground.
Bicycles should also be kept at home and not left outdoors overnight.
Feature Image: Vancity Buzz