As noted in Bikemore’s recent post, an institutional crackdown on random bike parking is sweeping across downtown. The trend started in Harbor East with security patrol placing hard to remove stickers on seats of bikes locked to anything except a Harbor East approved bike rack. These stickers are known to have ruined a quality Brooks saddle. While bike parking availability has improved in Harbor East over the past year, the amount and location are still lacking given the number of bike trips that start and end in Harbor East.
The City of Baltimore’s Legal Department determined that most bicycles (excepted when parked in the road at a metered location) locked to fixtures within the public right-of-way are done so legally. Therefore, the stickers placed on bicycles are comparable to property damage and vandalism.
Stickers have also been placed on bicycles outside the Convention Center (left). With only two bike racks on the property, visitors to the Convention Center have little choice but to lock to other fixtures including the iron fence along Howard Street. With the Bike Party ending at Pratt Street Ale House, there quickly become NO OPTIONS for ‘legal’ bike parking on the south side of Pratt Street.
The latest incident occurred at Oriole Park at Camden Yards (OPACY). Yesterday “Baltimore Velo” Seth had a card attached to his bicycle indicating the Maryland Stadium Authority’s policies for bike parking. Security officers on golf carts indicated they will remove any bicycle not using the ‘official’ bike parking at Oriole Park.
For safety reasons, managing pedestrian flow and maintaining the aesthetics of the complex, the Stadium Authority will remove any bicycle secured to a sign, pole, gate, fence or other facility structure. The warning notices were initiated this year to better inform cyclists of the state regulations involving the operation and parking of bicycles at the complex. Notices are attached to any bicycle parked in violation and, depending on the location and condition, will be removed immediately to the Security Office without the benefit of the warning notice. To recover bicycles that are removed, see the security officer at the guard booth located outside Gate D (south side) for access to the Security Office.
The new rack additions at OPACY are needed, but if the O’s keep winning, more (and better) racks will be needed.