Monday, November 22, 2010

City removes heads from parking meters; exposes bikes to theft (video)

The last couple weeks, the City of Ottawa has been removing parking meters as part of their plan to switch to Pay & Display parking, and convert some parking meters to ring-and-post bike racks. Unfortunately, despite various assurances, there won't be enough racks to replace the lost meters.

Here is a shot of the City workers removing racks on Somerset street at Arthur:

As was reported in the Ottawa Citizen today, the City has removed the heads of parking meters on Frank street that still had bikes attached. The City claims they have added a fixture to the tops of the posts to protect the bikes from being stolen, but they do not offer the protection of a parking meter head: bike locks can still be easily lifted over the tops of the posts and the bikes stolen, without any tools.

Ironically, we used to tell cyclists not to lock their bikes to signposts because the signs could be unbolted and the bike lifted over them. Instead, we recommended parking meters (which, since they contained money, had to be securely fastened into the ground). Now I guess the reverse is true!

See the video below for a demonstration of how a bike lock could easily be lifted over the bar. If the lock is only attached to the frame, a thief could easily lift the bike off and ride the bike away, and nobody would think it the least bit suspicious:

If you come across a place where there isn't anywhere to lock your bike, please e-mail and cc your councillor, especially if there used to be a parking meter there.

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

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