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Everybody knows that parking is a big problem in New York. Sometimes it seems as if there’s no place to secure your vehicle. It can be infuriating searching for a spot. Especially if your vehicle is a bicycle.
Despite the installation of hundreds of new bike racks around the city over the past few years, New York’s boom in bicycling has meant that it’s increasingly difficult to find a safe place to lock up. It’s illegal to lock to trees, and the fine for doing so is $1,000. The rules on street signs are vague, and your bike could theoretically get removed by the cops. Scaffolding is tempting, but if you lock to the wrong part, you might find the bar unbolted and your bike gone when you return. Lots of property owners don’t want you locking to fences and railings, and you always run the risk of being clipped if you do so.
Now that spring is on the way, the bike-parking crunch is only going to get worse, especially since so many perfectly good, legal racks are taken up by the carcasses of bikes that have long been abandoned. Any regular New York cyclist is familiar with the problem. Sometimes the rusted, bent frame of a long-abandoned two-wheeler will sit for months in a prime space, effectively lockblocking regular commuters and occasional visitors to the neighborhood alike.
There’s a new project that aims to clear the city’s racks of this infuriating debris. Dead Pedal NY is encouraging the city’s riders to use Instagram to take pictures of the offending hunks of junk, caption them with the location, and tag them with #deadpedalny. Dead Pedal will then pass the information along to the Department of Sanitation in an attempt to “help (and inspire) them to clean them up faster.”