Portland thieves will stop at nothing to take your beloved bike.
In the wee hours of this morning, someone sawed clean through a standard-issue City of Portland staple rack and stole a Trek Lexa road bike.
The theft happened in front of Star Bar at SE 7th and Morrison and was first reported via its listing on BikeIndex.org. Bryan Hance from Bike Index said the listing came in at 6:00 am so he suspects the theft occurred overnight. (We’re still trying to get in contact with the bike’s owner.)
It’s important to note that PBOT does not intend their blue staple racks to be used as long-term bicycle parking. They are only meant for short-term parking.
This isn’t the first time we’ve reported about a PBOT rack being sawed through. Back in March 2011, thieves used a similar method to compromise a rack in North Portland. Other brazen and surprising ways we’ve heard of bikes being stolen include unscrewing rack bolts and sliding a bike up and over a street sign pole after unscrewing the sign.
— BikeIndex Portland (@stolenbikereg) January 5, 2015
Despite this attention-grabbing heist, PBOT spokesperson Diane Dulken says it shouldn’t be cause for alarm. They have over 6,000 racks installed throughout the city and they typically only see about 1-2 of them getting sawed through each year. Of those, “This is the first actual theft we’re aware of,” says Dulken.
Dulken added that PBOT is considering ways to update the design of their standard-issue racks to make them more theft-proof. One idea is to use square instead of round tubing. PBOT bike parking program manager Sarah Figliozzi shared at our Bike Theft Summit that they might design them with larger foot flanges to make it more difficult to slide a u-lock off.
But Dulken says any changes to the rack’s design will have to be weighed against higher production costs. The current racks cost just $80 each and, “Any changes will increase the cost which means we can put fewer in.”