Bike Theft Affected By Bike Parking Infrastructure

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By Charles Pekow — Not enough is known about how parking infrastructure affects bike theft. In an attempt to close that knowledge shortfall, researchers from the University of Washington and three Chinese institutes of higher education issued a report on bike parking security.

Bike Parking in front of the Peter Prier Violin Making School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Dave Iltis
Bike Parking in front of the Peter Prier Violin Making School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Dave Iltis

The study found that you are more likely to lose your bike while at work than at home, as most thefts take place in business districts and sadly but not unexpectedly, the more bike lanes, bike racks and bus stops; the more theft. Thefts that do occur in residential areas take place disproportionately in low-income neighborhoods and where high ratios of young people live.

But the closer you park to a corner, the safer the bike; evidently thieves choose mid-block destinations because fewer people are likely to spot them.

It would help then, if planners made bike parking as visible as possible, suggests Bicycle Parking Security and Built Environments (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344944740_Bicycle_parkingonments).

Meanwhile, park your bike as close to a busy corner as you can.

 

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