08:30 AM

Abandoned bikes find new home with Ohio State help

The annual summer bicycle abatement program is underway at The Ohio State University.

The sweep by the Department of Transportation and Traffic Management helps manage abandoned bikes left on campus.

“We usually get about 400 to 500 bikes per year that people just leave behind,” said John Shrader, field logistics coordinator for Transportation and Traffic Management.

Department staff tag bicycles parked on campus with a bright yellow warning notice. Owners are given two weeks to move the bikes after they’ve been tagged. Bicycles not moved after two weeks are impounded and held for 90 days.

Despite hundreds of bike racks placed around campus, bike parking is at a premium once the new academic year begins. Shrader said it’s important to keep those spaces open.

“There are places that you know really have a high demand for bike parking,” Shrader said. “If people leave their bikes there for months and months on end then it’s not convenient for other people who would like to ride bikes to buildings.”

Owners can still claim a bike after it has been impounded. Bike owners are required to provide proof of ownership, like a bike lock key or a sales receipt, along with a photo ID to get their bike back.

Ohio State donates unclaimed bikes to Third Hand Bike Co-op after 90 days. Third Hand is a Columbus-based nonprofit that offers low-cost bicycles, repairs and bike workshops to help boost ridership.

Dan Sing, coordinator at Third Hand Bike, said the partnership with Ohio State is good for the biking community in Columbus.

“The good news-bad news is they have a huge number of bicycles that they wind up turning over to us,” Sing said. “But whatever we get we’re going to make our best effort to try and put that bicycle back together, make sure it’s in safe, rideable condition, and then offer that back out to the public.”

If you think your bike may have been impounded, contact Transportation and Traffic Management: https://ttm.osu.edu/bike-impoundment