Parking Vigilante Super-Gluing Bike Locks In Brooklyn

Scofflaw Hoping NYC Dept. Of Transportation Will Take Notice

BROOKLYN (CBS 2) — There was a battle brewing Wednesday night over parking. Not for cars, but for bikes along the sidewalks of New York.

CBS 2 consumer reporter Kirstin Cole has more on the “bike brawl.”

Street signs, bus stops, parking meters and anything else that’s cemented to the ground, it’s all fair game for bike parking these days. All those places are illegal to chain up, but as the number of cyclists around New York grows the amount of bike racks hasn’t been able to keep up.

“We have to find a way for everyone to fit,” said Elizabeth Brown of the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.

Where some cyclists lament, one bike vigilante is meting out his own justice by gluing bike locks — stuffing them full of super glue — as a protest against the bumper crop of bikes clogging sidewalks, especially on the corner of Bedford and north 7th in Williamsburg. Many Brooklynites agree with the bike bandit.

“It’s horrendous with the bikes. They fly by, throw bikes anywhere, hook up a chain anywhere. It blocks the path of pedestrians. It blocks the path of me. I fell twice on a bike,” said resident Milano Costello.

But bikers say … he should just take a hike.

“He’s got a chip on his shoulder ‘cause something happened to him. Maybe he’s got a thing in for bikes. Maybe someone rode over him one day,” said Nikki Cohen.

“I don’t see what he’d have against bikes. It’s good for exercise, environment and streets,” added Nick Burke.

With its dust-laden seat, rusted frame and broken gears one bike CBS 2 saw looked like it had been there for years. And one vigilante hopes a good dose of super glue in the locks will point out the parking problem that exists all across Brooklyn.

The two-wheel rage has grown so loud the Department of Sanitation is just months away from adopting new rules to rid the sidewalks of so-called derelict bikes — those broken and abandoned by owners.

“If they tow cars and if they’re really hell bent on it just break the lock and take the bike,” said Eddie Stasic Of Jackson Heights, Queens.

It’s a two-wheel war that still has many battles to go.

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  • Steve F

    Illegal? “Street signs, bus stops, parking meters and anything else that’s cemented to the ground, it’s all fair game for bike parking these days. All those places are illegal to chain up….”
    Actually, the NYC laws are exceedingly vague about parking bicycles on city streets. The Traffic laws for car parking don’t quite apply. The Police hand out conflicting suggestions, sometimes saying to use parking meters and traffic sign poles, and sometimes not. Sanitation is totally clueless. DOT is installing bike racks as fast as they can, but there are only a fraction of the need, and only a fraction of the on street car parking spaces. Over 15 bikes can be parked in a single car space. Which is more efficient?
    One thing we can agree is to not lock directly to a tree, but metal tree guards are not going to be hurt by a bike.
    The latest city attempt to deal with a law for abandoned bicycles will be a failure because it does not even clearly define where and how bikes are legally to be locked. It also omits dealing with abandoned bike in DOT racks, and appears to totally omit any input by the DOT – yet space on the sidewalks is under the control of the NYC DOT. It’s no wonder the cyclists are confused, the city actually has no coherent rules for bike parking!

    There are quite a few people who hate the idea that bicyclists are traveling faster and cheaper then they are, and usually having fun doing it. So they hate bicycles and bicyclists. Secure bike parking is the other side of having safe streets to ride. It needs to be there, where you are and when you need it.

    Note to HS: bicycles are required to be equipped with a bell, by NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Whenever I read these “There Ought To Bee A Law” statements, they are usually made by people who are clueless as to the current laws and far to lazy to research the issue. In reality, most cyclists are following most of the traffic laws most of the time. We may be crazy, but we are not stupid.

    • HS

      I have almost kicked cyclists because they are riding really fast on the sidewalk weaving in an out of people and numerous ones have been inches away from hitting my dog who is really afraid of bikes. These people do not follow the law since they aren’t supposed to be on the sidewalk anyway, it is in fact against the law. I have read all of the bike laws for NYC. So your snark little comment isn’t really applicable in this case.

  • rugbyball

    Super gluing locks helps how? If bicyclist cant remove his/her bike and its an old one, you just gave them a reason to abandon it and get a new one, leaving it to rust, become an eye sore and still be around for you to trip over. If you have a bike that’s abandoned, called 311 and report it. You don’t have the legal right to be a vigilante and if someone pushes the issue, they could find a some security camera of you in the act of vandalizing personal property!

    If your the bicyclist that gets lock glued, Don’t cut the lock. If its super glue (aka crazy glue) its a glue known as Cyanoacrylate ( do a wikipedia search for more info) it can be “de-bonded” by using acetone. or you can get a commercial de-bonder, which is probably just acetone but at least its portable. . If the criminal uses epoxy, you might be stuck. But I doubt they will take time to mix a two part epoxy on the street!.

  • porkychopper

    Dis boyz gonna gets hurt!

  • Double Tap

    Just have the Dept. of Sanitation cut the chain, pick up the bike and take it to the pound where a $150 fine is to be paid in order to get the bike released.

  • Demetri

    John, using your logic it would be acceptable for someone to glue car locks shut when they parked illegally, double parked, and parked at expired meters. This activist is a criminal who is vandalizing property.

  • John

    If Bicyclists did not break the law this activist would have nothing to do.

  • Rational Mind

    Maybe someone should crazy glue locks of cars parked illegally, double parked, and at expired meters. Vandalism is not the answer. This story gets way too much coverage. A loon vigilante – what a jerk!

  • karen

    all these bike jerks do is disobey traffic laws by running red lights and stop signs, riding on the sidewalk, cutting off traffic and chaining up to trees and they are for the most part ADULTS, not even teenagers. they have no respect for anyone. the bike vigilante is fabulous.

  • charles sanchez

    DanTe, as an avid cyclist I would really like to punch you in your mouth for that comment! How would you like it if someone cut the brake lines on your car?

  • HS

    How about a law requiring bikes to have bells and for the riders to use them. I understand wanting to ride on the side walk to avoid getting hit by cars, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to nearly hit me or run over my dog on the sidewalk.

    • Rich Johnson

      There is already a law requiring a bell for bicycles. I know of people who have gotten a ticket for not having a bell. I have a bell and lights on every bike I ride. As for riding on the sidewalk it is totally unacceptable. I have better things to do with my money than pay fines. And I believe in being courteous and respectful.

  • DanTe

    He should just spray the brake pads with silicone lubricant. That will do more in training these things to be considerate of others.

  • porkychopper

    Parking vigilante gets his butt kicked.

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