Record number of bikes removed in 2012
Bicycle parking is a serious matter in most major Dutch cities, as bikes parked near busy places like train stations have to be placed in designated areas or else run the risk of getting a fine, just like a car. To avoid ugly clutter, the city of Amsterdam removed a record number of bikes in 2012, some 65,000 ‘wrongly parked’ bikes and bike carcasses. I can sympathise with removing the carcasses, but removing ‘wrongly parked’ bikes implies that there’s not enough bike parking available, something the media writes about all the time.
Unlike cars, which are quickly demonised, bikes are supposed to be good, and dissuading anyone to take their bike instead of public transport would be blasphemous. In 2011, 54,000 bikes were removed and in 2010, 34,000. Since there’s an increase in the use and ownership of bikes, the big cities need more racks, but municipalities are basically ignoring the problem and causing a new one: expensive and tedious bureaucracy for anyone who wants to get their bike back.
In a recent post about recycling bicycle parts, cities remove (steal) bikes under the guise of keeping bicycle parking manageable and keeping the streets clean. The bikes are stored at a depot where rightful owners can retrieve their bikes after paying a ‘fine’. A lot of people don’t bother picking up their bikes and just get another one, putting more bikes out there.