I am writing to let you know that the bike rack in front of the circuit court house is COMPLETELY UNSAFE. My bike and I suspect others were stolen on August 3rd, 2009 while I was having breakfast a block away. I reported for jury duty and since I live in Charles Village I always pedal downtown. I choose to pedal most of the year as regular transportation even though I own a motorcycle and a work truck.
The racks around town, I understand, are park at your own risk. However, there is a tremendous false sense of security at that particular one. When the police showed up we looked in the trash can next to the rack and there was another cut heavy duty cable lock there. My lock, I suspect was taken with the thief. I actually chased him, but he was too far away to catch and on two wheels. I believe this person is targeting that rack because people think their property will be reasonably safe with a dozen or so law enforcement officers all around. Big mistake. Also, this thief or thieves have figured out that the theft won't even be reported to police until at least lunch time.
I also wrote the mayor and I sincerely hope something is done to address this. People shouldn't lose their days pay from work to serve jury duty and have their property stolen from a city owned bike rack in front of so many police officers and a circuit courthouse.
- RB .
Nate Evans. Bike & Pedestrian Planner BDOT, response:
I’m not a fan of cable locks for that reason – they’re cut too easily. I prefer a kryptonite U-lock which requires liquid nitrogen to get through. They are bulky and expensive but worth the piece of mind.
The Parking Authority and DOT are developing a secure bike parking facility in the Baltimore Garage – a garrison of bike racks behind a fence with key-card pass. While aimed at downtown commuters, we’re evaluating the facility’s availability for those reporting for jury duty and similar one-time activity.
Again I’m sorry for the loss of your bike. If you have any other bike-related questions or comments, please let me know.