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Abandoned bicycles to be removed

25 July 2007 - In the Oud-West district, rusty bicycles with flat tyres will be removed by the environmental police from now on. This is one of the things the bicycle-rich district wants to do about the shortage of bicycle racks.

In the past, bicycles could only be removed by the police if they were actually broken down. Clearly abandoned bicycles were left to ‘ripen’ until they met the criteria for removal. Someone might for example kick out the spokes, explains M. Jörissen of the environmental police.

According to the new rules, bicycles can be removed if in addition to having two flat tyres they are rusty; have an old rusty lock; are covered in moss or have sand collected at the wheels.

Before they are actually removed, a yellow warning sticker will be attached to the bicycle. If the owner wants to keep the bicycle, he or she will have to call a telephone number on the sticker and restore the bicycle to a decent condition. This happens occasionally.

The environmental police have removed some 3,000 bicycles in 2006 in Oud-West, and 1,600 in the first half year of 2007. It is not certain that this number will rise with the new rules, for the police only have a limited number of hours available for bicycle removal, Jörissen says.

At the Kinkerstraat, abandoned bicycles have been removed after complaints from handicapped people about obstacles on the sidewalk. It is hoped that people will no longer place their bicycles randomly on the sidewalk now that more bicycle racks have become available again.

Oud-West says it has increased the number of bicycle racks by 30% during the past years and intends to further raise this by 25% before 2010. However, “in the end there will still be more residents than racks”.

Photo: likely candidate for removal at the Jacob van Lennepkanaal


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